Be brave was the message from Banbury United boss Mike Ford to his players against Alvechurch – and they were.
Following Tuesday’s dramatic stoppage-time victory, Ford said: “The players were brave and enjoyed that, there were some good performances out there in front of a decent crowd. It was a great finish to the game with those two late goals.
The intention was to keep playing how we had been and we got our rewardPuritans boss Mike Ford
“When you’ve lost two games, one against a team in the bottom three, players can sometimes be afraid to keep the ball in case they lose the game. But we kept playing good football and got our reward, we showed great commitment to win the game.
“Over the 90 minutes, the victory was fully justified and it was a great finish from Ravi [Shamsi]. Alvechurch nearly got away with a point but it was a fantastic victory for us, their keeper made some good saves and they’ve defended for their lives but we had the bit between us in the second half.
“We should have been ahead before the sending-off and you still have to go and win the game after that. The intention was to keep playing how we had been and we got our reward.”
Ford admitted he faced a dilemma in trying to win the game late on, who to keep on and who to take off. With Steve Diggin coming off the bench, it meant United had four attacking players – Greg Kaziboni, Ravi Shamsi and Ricky Johnson – on the pitch at the end.
Ford explained: “The intention was to take Ravi off but then I thought he could be our match-winner and he was. I had to work out how to keep all my forward players on the pitch as well as bringing Steve Diggin on, which gave us a massive attacking threat. We had Amer Awadh playing as a holding midfielder with Giorgio Rasulo, who dominated the midfield in the last 25 minutes, allowing us play some really attractive football and to come away with a victory.”