Mills and Johnson on the mark as Puritans see off Royston

Banbury United's John Mills twists and turns during Saturday's 2-0 victory over Royston Town
Banbury United's John Mills twists and turns during Saturday's 2-0 victory over Royston Town

Banbury United got their first BetVictor Southern League victory of the campaign after they beat Royston Town 2-0 on Saturday.

John Mills opened his account to give United the perfect start in Saturday's Premier Division Central clash at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium and Ricky Johnson made it safe in stoppage-time against a Royston side which ended the game with nine players.

New signing Jannai Gordon started on the bench while Johnson and Mills were paired up front and it took only two minutes for the duo to make their mark. Royston were caught out on the attack with Johnson releasing Mills and he raced into the box before slipping the ball past the advancing Joe Welch.

United twice went close to doubling their advantage. Johnson set up Amer Awadh whose shot was saved by Welch before the skipper's diving header from Giorgio Rasulo's free-kick was just too high.

Royston were reduced to men in the 15th minute when Harold Joseph got a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Johnson which sent the United skipper flying on the halfway line.

Rasulo tested Welch from 25 yards after being found by Claudio Dias as United made all the early running, trying to exploit the man advantage. Royston had their moments but failed to create the opportunity they needed to get back into the contest.

United's best move of the half almost produced the second goal when Gedeon Okito's cross just evaded Johnson. That second goal didn't materialise and Royston were still in it.

Connor Roberts fired wide from the edge of the box after the restart but Royston were a different proposition and posed more of a threat. Mills and Rasulo should have done better when United caught Royston on the break but neither player was able to take advantage. At the other end Royston went close when a quick break ended with former Puritan Scott Bridges seeing his goal bound effort diverted wide.

The second half became disjointed and scrappy at times with United being frustrated in their efforts to get that crucial second goal. Rasulo dragged his free-kick wide of the far post but United struggled to create chances from open play.

Ed Asafu-Adjaye was the second Royston player to get a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Gordon in the 79th minute.

That should have been that in terms of Royston getting back on level terms but United missed a great chance to kill the game off. Rasulo and Dias combined for Charlie Hawtin to race into the box but, instead of pulling the trigger, he opted to pick out Gordon who saw his close range shot blocked.

United finally got the second goal six minutes into stoppage-time. Hawtin chased and harried before winning possession and finding Johnson in the box who took a touch, turned and curled the ball into the bottom corner of the net from ten yards.