Lyons pops up to deny Puritans all three points

Banbury United players celebrate Louis Joyce's goal at Larkhall Athletic. Photo: David Shadbolt
Banbury United players celebrate Louis Joyce's goal at Larkhall Athletic. Photo: David Shadbolt

Jamie Lyons grabbed a late equaliser to deny Banbury United all three points in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash at Larkhall Athletic.

The Puritans twice led in the Division One South & West fixture but Larkhall hit back each time through Lyons to earn a point.

Larkhall began the better of the two sides, Matt Thorne twice went close with shots from just outside the area but United broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when Andy Gunn put Ricky Johnson clear and he nicked the ball past the advancing Kyle Phillips.

Three minutes later United went close when Leam Howards flicked the ball over a defender only to see his thunderous shot smash against the bar before bouncing down and being cleared.

Larkhall had an excellent chance to equalise before the break when Dean Griffiths headed a cross wide when he should have done better. But they were level two minutes after the restart when some poor defending allowed Lyons to score from close range.

Larkhall began to look the better side, Thorne shot just inches over the bar from the edge of the area and then a cross from Josh Egan was headed over by Griffiths.

A free-kick from Mark Bell brought out a good save from Phillips and substitute Louis Joyce couldn’t put away the rebound from a narrow angle. But United were back in front in the 74th minute when Joyce got on the end of a through ball to beat Phillips from 12 yards.

Moments later Bell was just inches off target from the edge of the area but Griffiths headed a corner from Matt Morris wide at the other end. United were heading for three points but five minutes from time a deep cross was headed home by Lyons.

Both sides could have won it late on. Gio Wrona shot just over the bar from 20 yards but United twice went close twice in stoppage-time. Bell’s corner was headed against the bar by Johnson and Zac McEachran put Joyce through but he was unable to beat the advancing Phillips this time.