Boss puzzled by choice of venue for cup semi-final

Banbury United manager Mike Ford NNL-180225-081430009
Banbury United manager Mike Ford NNL-180225-081430009

Banbury United boss Mike Ford can’t work out why the Oxon Senior Cup tie with Kidlington is being played at North Leigh.

Tuesday’s semi-final pairs United with the Evo-Stik Southern League South & West outfit who have several familiar faces in their ranks.

With due respect to North Leigh, I can’t work out how we’ve ended up going there

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ford said: “We’ve ended up having to go to North Leigh on a Tuesday night in March. We suggested to the OFA that the first team out of the hat should host the game – either us or Kidlington – so there is some interest in the tie.

“They said no but I think it was a fair suggestion and then you end up with Oxford City and Oxford United playing their semi-final at Marsh Lane! With due respect to North Leigh, I can’t work out how we’ve ended up going there when we could have played at our place or Kidlington.

“But, ultimately, we’ve got to compete in a game of football. For several reasons, it’s a competition I’ve not been particularly successful in, here or at Oxford City.

“Sometimes, the ties have come in the middle of a promotion push but it’s another game of football and one we want to win.”

Several former Puritans will be in Kidlington’s squad and Ford knows his side will have to get out of the blocks quickly, unlike at Easington Sports in the quarter-final.

He added: “Kidlington have several players who have played for me at Banbury and they may feel they have a point to prove.

“Some of those players could feel they were discarded by me so my current players need to show why they are now playing at Banbury. We’ve got to be ready for the first whistle because I know it’s going to be a tough game.”

If United get through – which they should – they will face City in the final after they beat United by a solitary goal on Tuesday.