Luckie sends Puritans crashing to fourth straight defeat

Mark Janes missed two good chances to equalise for Banbury United
Mark Janes missed two good chances to equalise for Banbury United

Banbury United slipped to a fourth straight Evo-Stik Southern League defeat, losing 1-0 against Redditch United on Monday.

Jazz Luckie got the only goal of the premier division clash at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium where the Puritans were unable to halt their slide.

Manager Mike Ford said he would make changes following Saturday’s premier division defeat at Hitchin Town but some were forced upon the Puritans manager.

Jack Westbrook was ruled out with a groin injury, captain Andy Gunn was unavailable as was David Lynn while the influential Zac McEachran was missing for the fourth game running through injury.

That meant Ricky Johnson dropping into the back four alongside new signing James Fawke with Callum White taking over from Lynn and Jacob Blackstock coming in at right back. As for the other changes, in came Darius Browne with Leam Howards starting up front with Mark Janes.

Redditch had an early chance when a Reece Hales corner found Clayton McDonald whose header was cleared off the line by White. United replied with Howards racing on to a long pass before firing over with a first time effort.

Danico Johnson turned inside Fawke after neat build-up play from Hales but Jack Harding saved well at his near post. At the other end Bradley Catlow had to be alert to thwart Howards on the edge of his box after he raced on to Browne’s pass.

Howards flashed a shot just past the post on the stroke of halftime. But those chances apart, it was a poor first half with both sides struggling to impose themselves.

After the restart Redditch went close when Johnson got around the back and found Luckie who was denied by Harding from close range.

Felipe Barcelos replaced Howards and the Redditch defenders would have been pleased to see the back of him while Barcleos failed to make the impact Ford wanted.

Redditch broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute when Luckie got very lucky, he tugged Fawke’s shirt before robbing the defender and beating the advancing Harding. The lack of any protest was a surprise given the importance of the goal.

United went close to an equaliser moments later when Blackstock’s cross was headed over by Janes from a good position while Redditch substitute Michael Taylor fired over after he raced clear.

Janes had another chance in the closing stages but he blazed over from another good position and in stoppage-time Browne headed over.