Haysham hits the winner as Puritans edge past Racing Club
A solitary goal from Pablo Haysham was enough for Banbury United to get past Racing Club Warwick in Tuesday's Birmingham Senior Cup first round tie.
The Midland Football League outfit produced a hard-working performance and frustrated their BetVictor Southern League hosts for long periods until Haysham's second half strike.
United began on the foot front, dominating the early possession and went close when Anderson Cayola shot wide from ten yards after neat build-up play involving Roger Ngah Bosio and Denilson Silva. United continued to push for the breakthrough but the final pass was missing from their quick build-up play.
Racing Club found it difficult to create any openings given their lack of possession as United totally dominated the first half. Racing Club were well organised in defence, with Sean Castleton and Rudy Misambo dominant, and worked overtime to close down any threat in the final third.
The visitors came more into the tie as the first half progressed and against the run of play United almost fell behind to a goal all of their own making. A loose pass from Anderson saw Danica Johnson race away and into the box only for Conor Roberts to thwart him with a last-ditch tackle.
Racing Club grew in confidence and had another chance just before the break when Trea Bertie released Johnson who got into the box again but saw his deflected shot palmed away by Jack Harding. For all their possession, shot-shy United failed to seriously test keeper Charlie Bannister throughout the first half.
After the restart, Silva was unable to convert a cross from substitute Charlie Hawtin and Haysham fired wide from the edge of the box as United tried to break down a resolute Racing Club defence. The visitors lost influential skipper Joseph Smith through injury early in the second half and United looked to take advantage.
Eddie Odhiambo should have done better when he could only fire wide from six yards after being picked out at the far post by substitute Giorgio Rasulo. United raised the tempo and began to dominate proceedings again, Rasulo picked out Anderson but his shot was comfortably gathered at his near post by Bannister.
United finally made the breakthrough in the 65th minute when Rasulo found Silva who cut inside and laid the ball off to Haysham who took one touch before firing into the roof of the net from 15 yards. Haysham should have bagged his second goal moments later but he shot over from a good position after Anderson pulled the ball back to him in the box.
Haysham missed another good chance when he glanced a header wide from Anderson's cross and Silva shot over from 25 yards as United went in search of the crucial second goal. Racing Club stayed in the tie as the game opened up but didn't create a single chance in the second half.
Substitute Ryan Macdonald tested Bannister from the edge of the box in the closing stages and showed some good moments and neat touches during his time on the pitch.