Ford delighted to see Puritans get back on track

Ricky Johnson goes close with a header at Stratford Town for Banbury United. Photo: Edwin Barson
Ricky Johnson goes close with a header at Stratford Town for Banbury United. Photo: Edwin Barson

Banbury United manager Mike Ford got the desired response from his players on New Year’s Day.

Substitute Leam Howards grabbed the late winner as the Puritans got back to winning ways in the Evo-Stik Southern League.

There were plenty of things we could do better but, on the back of the disappointing Boxing Day game, that was a huge result

Puritans boss Mike Ford

The Puritans came from behind to beat Stratford Town 3-2 in Monday’s premier division clash. It was the perfect response following the Boxing Day defeat to Dunstable Town.

Ben Stephens gave Stratford the early lead but Tom Winters equalised before the break and Ricky Johnson put the visitors in front after the restart. Mike Taylor equalised but Howards came off the bench to bag the late winner and all three points.

Ford told Puritans Radio: “We showed great character, we went behind, equalised, took the lead and got pegged back but then got the winner. We had to defend for our lives and Jack Self’s last-gasp tackle to save a certain goal epitomised the spirit in the team.

“There were plenty of things we could do better but, on the back of the disappointing Boxing Day game, that was a huge result for a lot of reasons and for a lot of people. There were several players in the dressing room before the game thinking about their own performances and what they needed to do.

“Everything was left out on the pitch and it was an exceptional performance. I felt we needed another attacking player on the pitch and Leam Howards has come on and got the winner.”