Gunn sees red as the leaders are crushed at Taunton

Banbury United captain Andy Gunn saw red at Taunton
Banbury United captain Andy Gunn saw red at Taunton

Banbury United’s ten-match winning run came to a crushing end in Tuesday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash at Taunton Town.

The Division One South & West leaders were thumped 7-1 and also had skipper Andy Gunn sent off.

Jordan Rogers and Craig Veal each completed hat-tricks for the Peacocks as they proudly boosted their own play-off chances.

United got off to the perfect start by taking a seventh minute lead courtesy of an own goal for the third game in succession. Owen Irish deflected Ricky Johnson’s driven low cross into the back of his own net.

But Rogers equalised four minutes later when his speculative 20 yard effort beat Jack Harding at his near post for his 15th goal of the season.

Both sides created chances in an open first half with Johnson twice going close in quick succession.

Johnson’s header shaved the outside of the far post from Zac McEachran’s deep free-kick and moments later Darius Browne’s cross was headed into the side-netting by United’s top scorer.

But two goals in four minutes turned the game on its head. Taunton took a 39th minute lead when Jamie Short headed the ball down for Rogers who drilled it past Harding.

Two minutes before the break Westbrook and Veal tangled in the area and the referee pointed to the penalty spot, leaving Lewis Powell to convert the ensuing spot-kick.

Rogers completed his hat-trick one minute after the restart with an audacious volley which beat the back-pedalling Harding. Taunton’s shoot-on-sight policy paid off again in the 54th minute when Rogers ran at the visitors’ defence and his low drive took a deflection off Veal and flew past Harding.

United went close when Bell’s free-kick found Johnson but his header was deflected on to the bar and Michael Hopkins fired over after getting forward. Taunton made it six in the 69th minute when Veal’s 30 yard scorcher caught Harding off his line and nestled in the back of the net via both uprights.

McEachran tested Irish late on but United’s night went from bad to worse when Gunn got a straight red card for a challenge on Rogers. Veal duly completed his hat-trick in the 76th minute when he found space in the box to beat Harding.