James Golding's great winner stretches Banbury United's lead to 17 points

Andy Whing's side visit promotion rivals Rushall Olympic this weekend

Man of the Match James Golding's first goal of the season helped Banbury United to a 2-1 win over Peterborough Sports  (PICTURE BY ANDREW CONDIE)
Man of the Match James Golding's first goal of the season helped Banbury United to a 2-1 win over Peterborough Sports (PICTURE BY ANDREW CONDIE)

Two goals in two minutes ensured another win for Banbury United on Saturday, stretching their lead at the top of the table to 17 points.

Fourth-placed Peterborough Sports had held the half-time lead from a 30th-minute strike.

But it took until the 69th for Chris Wreh to net the equaliser.

Then James Golding’s superb solo effort made it 2-1 in the 71st minute - his first goal for the club delighting the 939-strong crowd at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.

Golding’s performance earned him his third man-of-the-match award.

Andy Whing’s side now have a fantastic 80 points from their 32 Southern League Premier Division Central games, with Rushall Olympic and Coalville Town both on 63, with games in hand.

And it’s Rushall who are Banbury’s hosts this weekend, following their 3-1 defeat at Alvechurch last week.

Being congratulated by Puritans Radio after the game, defender Golding, 17, who has been on loan at Banbury from Oxford United since January said: “It was my first goal this season and I’m delighted I got it.

“It’s just coming up to two months I’ve been here now and I’m loving every minute of it.”

Commenting on Rushall’s defeat and Banbury’s 17-point lead at the top, he added: “Now we have to keep on pushing on and if we keep on winning games it’s only a matter of time.”

First team coach Craig Pead said he and manager Andy Whing had remained calm throughout Saturday’s win, even after going 1-0 down after half an hour.

“We knew it was just about being patient,” he said.

“To keep probing and we felt the chances were always going to come.”

Praising Golding, Pead continued: “He’s only 17, learning his trade and he’s going to go on and have a fantastic career - to have that composure, going past three or four players and to slot the ball home, brilliant!”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s trip to their rivals Pead added: “Rushall have had a great run.

“It’s going to be the toughest game of the season for us and the most important game - but every game that comes is the most important game.

“Yes, they are coming off the back of a loss, but they are capable of putting a great performance together.

“They are a good team so we just need to be on point and make sure we are on the ball and we give them the respect they deserve and get the result.”

Ahead of Saturday’s game, the club had signed 30-year-old midfielder Theo Lewis from Gosport Borough.

Although he has played much of his career on the South Coast, Lewis is based in Abingdon.

On joining the Puritans he said: “I am delighted to be on board. The boys have had a fantastic season so far and I am here to help in any way possible in the last nine games of the season.”

Andy Whing is very pleased with his latest recruit: “We are delighted to get Theo on board,” said the Banbury boss.

“When we became aware he was available we jumped at the chance to sign someone of his ability and experience of being promoted for this level.”

Lewis started his career as a youth player at Chelsea and Reading before joining Cheltenham Town.

He made 43 appearances for Cheltenham and also had spells at Gloucester City, Salisbury City, Woking, Ebbslfeet United and Havant and Waterlooville.

Following three years with Havant he joined Gosport Borough where he had been since the 2019-20 season.

Banbury United have also announced that Lewis Johnson has been recalled by MK Dons.