FA Trophy: Puritans pegged back and must do it all again

Banbury United striker Jefferson Louis bagged his 13th goal of the campain at Tiverton Town
Banbury United striker Jefferson Louis bagged his 13th goal of the campain at Tiverton Town

Banbury United boss Mike Ford will be hoping his side can finish the job off at the second attempt in Tuesday’s Buildbase FA Trophy replay.

The Puritans drew 2-2 at Tiverton Town in Saturday’s first qualifying round tie after letting slip a two-goal advantage in the second half.

First half goals from Ravi Shamsi and Jefferson Louis, his 13th of the campaign in all competitions, put United in control. But Owen Howe’s second half penalty and Callum Hall’s equaliser means the two sides will meet again at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium on Tuesday.

Tiverton had slightly the better of the opening stages but United went ahead in the 15th minute when a throw-in from Matt Peake-Pijnen found Shamsi on the edge of the area and he was allowed time to pick his spot and fire past Martin Rice into the bottom corner of the net.

Tiverton responded well to going behind. A free-kick from Howe just a couple of yards outside the area was well saved by Jack Harding and a cross from Nick Hurst went right across the six-yard box with no-one able to get the final touch.

Tiverton went on to dominate the next period but United worked their way back into the game and doubled their advantage on the stroke of halftime. Substitute James Richards slipped in the area and Shamsi nipped in to win the ball and set-up Louis who had the simple task of knocking the ball home from close range.

After the restart it looked like United had put the tie beyond Tiverton when a cross from Charlie Hawtin was headed into the net by Louis but the referee ruled it out for an infringement, even though the United striker came off worse and had to be replaced by Conor McDonagh shortly afterwards.

Following the let-off, Tiverton reduced the arrears on the hour mark. Tom Gardner’s free-kick was handled by Jack Self as he blocked the shot and Howe made no mistake converting the ensuing spot-kick.

Just four minutes later and Tiverton were level when a low cross from the right was struck home by Hall from 15 yards.

Tiverton dominated the next few minutes but United held out and worked their way back into the game. In the closing stages the game could have gone either way with both teams having chances.

Howe shot just over from the edge of the area and Ricky Johnson’s header sent McDonagh clear but the United striker couldn’t connect properly with his shot from a narrow angle and his effort went wide.