Basingstoke send Puritans slipping to another defeat

Banbury United's Tom Winters scored a cracker at Basingstoke Town
Banbury United's Tom Winters scored a cracker at Basingstoke Town

Banbury United slipped to a second successive Evo-Stik Southern League defeat and their fourth consecutive loss in all competitions.

The Puritans lost 3-1 in Saturday’s premier division clash at Basingstoke Town.

United got off to the worst of starts, going behind in just the fifth minute when Sam Smart’s cross was fumbled by Jack Harding and Sam Argent was on hand to knock the ball home from close range.

United responded well to going behind, a Tom Winters shot from the edge of the area whistled just past the far post and Luke Carnell shot over the bar from 12 yards after Town failed to deal with a free-kick.

Basingstoke went close when a Ben Wright free-kick was well saved by Harding before United equalised on the stroke of halftime. Harding’s long kick fell to Winters who let fly with an excellent shot from 25 yards, the ball sailing over keeper Colin McAdden.

After the restart, Charlie Hawtin appeared to be tripped after he cut into the area but much to the surprise of the large away contingent, the referee waved United’s penalty appeals away.

The game looked as though it might just peter out into a stalemate but in the 76th minute a low cross in from the right was tapped home at the far post by substitute Ashleigh Artwell, only a few seconds after coming on.

United struggled to make much impression in the closing stages, their best effort was a 20 yard shot from George Nash which flew just over the bar. But, with United pushing forward, they were caught out three minutes into stoppage-time when a low cross from Smart was slotted home from close range by Argent.