Ford delighted to see Puritans make it back-to-back wins

Banbury United's Ricky Johnson scores against St Ives Town
Banbury United's Ricky Johnson scores against St Ives Town

Banbury United boss Mike Ford was delighted to see his side make it back-to-back home wins.

The Puritans beat St Ives Town 3-1 in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash. Jack Self gave United the early lead in the premier division contest, Ben Baker equalised before the break but second half goals from Ricky Johnson and the impressive Tom Winters won it for United.

It was a good win, these games are always difficult and we’ve lost or drawn ones like these at home this season

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ford told Puritans Radio: “It was a good win, these games are always difficult and we’ve lost or drawn ones like these at home this season. In general, we dominated the game apart from small periods when we were poor.

“We weren’t fantastic and we need to be better on the ball because that suits the type of players we have here. As the game wore on we got better when St Ives were looking to nick a draw.

“That was Tom Winters’ best game for us for a long time and he deserved his goal. We always need to get the ball to Tom early so he can deliver it.”

An early move saw Winters go on a storming run to the edge of the area before shooting over the bar. But United took a ninth lead when Winters took a quick free-kick to the overlapping George Nash who crossed low into the centre for Self to fire into the net from ten yards.

But United’s lead lasted just five minutes, Tom Knowles raced down the right before crossing low into the centre where Baker was on hand to knock the ball home from close range.

United went close when a long ball from Luke Carnell was headed on by Johnson with Elliot Sandy getting to the ball first but, stretching, he was only able to fire over the bar. Tim Trebes did well to hold a Winters free-kick as the first half fizzled out.

St Ives began the second half well and had much the better of the opening period.

Danny Kelly broke through down the left and cut the ball back from the edge of the six-yard box into the path of Ollie Snaith. His shot was blocked by Tom Bradbury, the loose ball fell to Peter Clark who saw his effort cleared off the line by Paul Stonehouse before being hacked away by Self for a corner.

United went close when a corner from Winters was headed back into the centre by Sandy at the far post with Johnson’s header hitting a defender’ on the line before the ball was eventually hacked away.

A St Ives corner caused problems in the area with the returning Jack Harding doing well to spread himself and save Clark’s shot from a narrow angle inside the six-yard box.

Another corner by Winters saw the incoming Bradbury head over from ten yards. Trebes made an excellent save from a Winters free-kick, diving at full stretch to push the ball away.

St Ives had a glorious chance when a cross from Knowles found Clark in space inside the six-yard box but he headed over the bar when it looked easier to hit the target.

They paid for that in the 72nd minute when a cross from Winters saw Johnson get in front of Luke Warner-Eley at the far post to head home from close range.

The all-important third goal came in the 81st minute when Jordy Ngathe got the better of Eugene Libertucci before crossing low for Winters on the edge of the area and his shot flew into the corner of the net.