New signing for leaders Banbury United now 17 points clear at the top

Two weeks off for Andy Whing's men who will face promotion challengers Peterborough Sports and Rushall Olympic on their return

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 17th February 2022, 7:33 am
Updated Thursday, 17th February 2022, 7:38 am
Giorgio Rasulo scored from the penalty spot and was man of the match against Leiston
Giorgio Rasulo scored from the penalty spot and was man of the match against Leiston

With one of their best displays of the season, Banbury United beat Leiston 2-0 in what manager Andy Whing called ‘another really good day at the office’ to move an incredible 17 points clear at the top of the table.

The lengthy journey to Suffolk was rewarded with a penalty in the 37th minute after the hosts’ goalkeeper handled the ball on the goal-line, earning a red card.

Giorgio Rasulo dispatched the spot kick to give Whing’s side the edge at half time.

Sign up to our daily Banbury Guardian Today newsletter

Much debate as to whether the ball crossed the line - but it ended in a free-kick to Leiston

It took until the 70th minute to add some breathing space, when Victor Sodeinde dispossessed a defender and his cross was swept in majestically by Chris Wreh from ten yards out.

The final 20 minutes saw Banbury showing why they are top of the league, as they wrapped up their defence and played the game out for a satisfying win in front of a large following of away fans in the longest trip so far this season.

It was only seventh-placed Leiston’s third home defeat of the campaign.

“I don’t think many teams will come here and get points and we were in the ascendancy for much of the game,” said Whing afterwards.

Chris Wreh scored in Banbury's win over Leiston

“It was another really good day at the office.”

United now have a fantastic 77 points from their 31 Southern League Premier Division Central games so far. Closest rivals Rushall Olympic and Coalville Town are both on 60, with two games in hand.

Fourth-placed Peterborough Sports - Banbury’s next opponents at home on February 26 - are on 54 points and have three extra games to play.

The two-week break will be welcome after their relentless Saturday-Tuesday run of fixtures, especially as March 5’s hosts will be Rushall Olympic.

The squad has been boosted by the signing of Max Hercules, a 21-year-old winger from Aylesbury United.

Having started his career with 60 games at Tring Athletic, he then played 46 for Ducks, before brief spells at Kings Langley and Berkhamsted and returned to Aylesbury in January 2020.

Hercules said: “I’m delighted to sign for Banbury, I’m so invested in the club’s ambition and style of play I believe it goes hand in hand with my ambitions.

“I can’t wait to be out there in front of the many supporters who are so passionate about their club!”

Whing added: “It’s a good time to bring an exciting young player like Max into the squad. He is a great fit for the club and I am sure he will excite the fans.”