Banbury United boss Mike Ford knew the importance of picking up three points from the opening home game of the campaign.
And Ford admitted he left it up to his front three to win it for him, as he looks to find a new way of playing this season. It worked against Halesowen with United shifting the ball quicker through the middle of the park to feed Greg Kaziboni, Ravi Shamsi and Steve Diggin.
We conceded late goals last season so it was nice to hold on and get off the markPuritans boss Mike Ford
Ford said: “When you’re looking to coach your team, it’s always easier to work on how you’re going to stop the other team playing. So I set us up to be difficult to beat and trust those three up front to make the right decisions to go and win games.
“On the break, if we had made the right choices, we could quite easily have gone three or four goals up. Their keeper has made some fantastic saves and my keeper has hardly had any to make even though they put lots of balls into our box.
“We conceded late goals last season so it was nice to hold on and get off the mark.
“When someone of the calibre of Lee Hughes comes in, he’s clearly going to improve their team. But they also changed their shape which caused a few issues and we allowed them to get the ball to the front too easily.
“We went to a front three and kept catching them on the break but we just couldn’t deliver that final pass to the right person at the right time. But we’ve dug the right result out.”
While the front three caught the eye, Jack Finch produced a mature holding display in midfield and Ford added: “I had a frank discussion with Jack Finch a couple of weeks ago about how I wanted him to play and since then he’s been excellent.
“He played about 20 appearances in League One so he knows how to manage games in that position.
“We had an issue last season of chasing games and being caught out on the break so it was important to have a player in a holding position.”