Ford urges fans to get behind the Puritans

Banbury United's Mark Bell shields the ball from Bishops Cleeve's  Jack Horrell at Spencer Stadium
Banbury United's Mark Bell shields the ball from Bishops Cleeve's Jack Horrell at Spencer Stadium

Having tipped Yate Town for promotion, Banbury United boss Mike Ford is fully aware his side face a tough test in Saturday’s FA Trophy clash.

The Puritans travel to fellow Evo-Stik Southern League rivals Yate for Saturday’s preliminary round tie with Ford able to choose from a full squad. And, having exited the FA Cup so early, he will be keen for a good run in the competition.

He said: “I tipped Yate to go up at the start of the season and even though they’ve made a slow start I expect them to be thereabouts in April. I’d love to get through at the first attempt but would be delighted to get them back up here on Tuesday night.

“In every game we’ve played so far we’ve always had periods when we’ve dominated, so we don’t fear playing against anyone in this division.”

Jon Steedman, Bradley Cox, Jack McLaughlin and Zac McEachran are all available after misisng the Bishops Cleeve game.

Meanwhile, Ford is urging the town’s supporters to get behind the club – in numbers and vocally – to help them in their pursuit of a quick return to the premier division.

He said: “I know the players have got to give the supporters something to cheer but I think we’ve done that in every game. When they get behind the team it really lifts the players and they can be the 12th man for us, against Burnham they helped us over the line.

“We haven’t got a big budget, so I can’t attract players with that. But Banbury has the best support of any non-league club I’ve been with.

“I sold that to the players I’ve brought in, that they’d be playing in front of 250 to 300 in home games. That’s why I would love to see more supporters than we’re getting at the moment.”