Martin at the double as Puritans pick up three more points

Banbury United's Miles Welch-Hayes makes his debut against Slimbridge
Banbury United's Miles Welch-Hayes makes his debut against Slimbridge

Duran Martin bagged a brace as Banbury United beat Slimbridge 3-1 in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash.

The Puritans recorded their seventh Division One South & West victory in nine outings at Spencer Stadium to maintain their excellent run.

United took a tenth minute lead when Zac McEachran broke into the box and set up Leam Howards whose shot hit the post but the ball came back for McEachran to knock home the rebound.

United took just four minutes later to double their advantage. A sweeping move involving Darius Browne, Howards and McEachran ended with Martin firing past George Burton.

Jack Twynham went close to a quick response when he fired wide from a tight angle as the visitors began to make inroads in the home defence. The overlapping Adam Mace went even closer when he flashed a shot across Jack Harding’s goal while Jack Westbrook thwarted Sean Lawson after he jinked his way into the box.

But Browne went close to increasing United’s lead when he exchanged passes with Ricky Johnson before curling a delightful shot around Burton but the ball hit the upright.

Westbrook came to his side’s rescue again just before the break to deflect Lawson’s shot wide and from the ensuing corner Richard Thwaite headed over. Slimbridge kept knocking on the door and Harding turned Lawson’s drive around the far post.

Burton kept out Andy Gunn’s header from McEachran’s corner immediately after the restart before a quick break ended with the lively Lawson releasing Mace who was denied by Harding.

The game never really got going in the second half and United had the points in the bag without ever really having to get out of third gear.

George Nash saw his effort deflected over and substitute Louis Joyce went close before United increased their lead in the 80th minute. Joyce set up Martin and he fired into the bottom corner of the net with a sweet strike from the edge of the box.

Slimbridge reduced the arrears a minute later when Gunn impeded Richard Thwaite and Paul Fahy scored from ensuing spot-kick but it came too late to alter the outcome.