Leaders Banbury United visit Lowestoft after bottom club's shock win over Coalville

Success over Hednesford sets up 20-point lead at top of table

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 1:26 pm
Goal celebrations for Banbury in their win over Hednesford (Picture by Simon Grieve)

League leaders Banbury United have a trip to the seaside on Saturday, when they take on basement battlers Lowestoft Town.

Their Suffolk opponents are fighting relegation, two points adrift of both Bromsgrove Sporting and Biggleswade Town at the very bottom of the division, but beat Banbury’s closest rivals Coalville Town 3-2 at the weekend.

At the other end of the table, Andy Whing’s men have a 20-point cushion between them and Coalville, who still have two extra games to start closing the gap.

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Last weekend Banbury continued their winning run with a 2-1 success at home to Hednesford Town, who are now ninth in the Southern League Premier Central Division, but proved strong opponents.

They went ahead just before the half hour, but it took just six minutes for the Puritans to reply.

Giorgio Rasulo was tripped just outside the penalty area, and Morgan Roberts guided his left-foot strike just inside the post but just out of reach of giant Pitmen ‘keeper Oliver Basey’s despairing dive.

The winner came from a penalty in the 78th minute after Morgan Roberts went on a mazy run across the edge of the penalty area but was brought down. Rasulo calmly put the spot-kick into the corner of the net.

The match had been preceded by a minute’s silence for former Banbury player Pete Svenson who has sadly died aged 80.

Svenson played for the club and its predecessor Banbury Spencer from 1961 to 1977, making 583 appearances and scoring 77 goals.

Whing was pleased to add another three points to their tally.

“It was a fantastic result, but we definitely didn’t deserve to be leading at half time,” he told Puritans Radio after the game.

“The second half we were outstanding in terms of workrate, it was windy down there and we dealt with it a lot better and were the better team.

“Overall a really pleasing day for us.”

It’s the third time Banbury have won 2-1, coming back from a goal down.

“We have got to be better, we can’t be starting slowly and letting teams get a 1-0 lead,” Whing added.

“I don’t think having a week off has helped us.

“The lads are tremendous, they work their socks off and hopefully we will build a bit of momentum. We’re going into a tough game next week, Lowestoft have had some really good results lately.

“Everyone has something riding on the games, everyone’s got their incentives.

“They will be fighting for their lives, no one was expecting them to beat Coalville, that’s why we have to focus on ourselves.”