Boss content to see young guns make their mark

Banbury United's Charlie Wise gets in a header despite the attentions of Stourbridge's Aris Christophorou. Photo: Jake McNulty
Banbury United's Charlie Wise gets in a header despite the attentions of Stourbridge's Aris Christophorou. Photo: Jake McNulty

The young guns made their mark for Banbury United in midweek.

Tuesday’s stalemate with Stourbridge saw manager Mike Ford put out one of his youngest teams at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium but they came through with flying colours.

Half the team was made up of kids against a team full of experienced players and we restricted them to one clear chance all night

Puritans boss Mike Ford

With Ricky Johnson ruled out through illness, Harry Whitehead partnered Charlie Wise in central defence. Behind him was keeper Manny Agboola, Matt Taylor, was at left-back, while Amer Awadh and Giorgio Rasulo did their best to unlock the Glassboys’ defence.

The youngsters contributed to arguably United’s performance of the season and Ford said: “We were really at it in that game and I thought that was a better performance than the one against Royston.

“Stourbridge were a massive side but we showed a lot of maturity, especially the younger players.

“Half the team was made up of kids against a team full of experienced players and we restricted them to one clear chance all night.”

Johnson should be back for Saturday’s clash with Kettering Town but Lee Henderson and Charlie Hawtin remain on the sidelines. So Ford was relieved to see how well his side coped without them and will have a dilemma when they return.

He said: “Charlie Hawtin, Lee Henderson and Ricky Johnson would probably all start in my first choice back four but we still looked solid without them.

“Eddie Odhiambo came in and kept Greg Mills quiet all night.

Harry Whitehead was outstanding, he struggled a bit on Saturday at right-back which is an unfamiliar position for him and he’s knows that. But he did everything you want a central defender to do alongside Charlie Wise who was also immense.

“We had a lot of players determined to show they deserved to be in the team. Amer Awadh played very well, Ravi Shamsi worked really hard, George Nash looked like he’s getting back to where he was and Giorgio Rasulo gave us a lot of quality on the ball with his range of passing.

“We worked really hard. We kept the ball at the top end of the pitch for longer periods but we need to be more clinical when the chances come.”