Ford faces dilemma in defence for rest of campaign

Banbury United's Jordy Ngarthe holds off Biggleswade Town's Jack Bowen
Banbury United's Jordy Ngarthe holds off Biggleswade Town's Jack Bowen

Banbury United boss Mike Ford faces a defensive dilemma for the Evo-Stik Southern League run-in.

The Puritans will be without Charlie Wise for the rest of the campaign after the young defender suffered a fractured cheek bone against Biggeswade Town in Saturday’s premier division clash which ended 1-1.

That was the most blatant red card I’ve seen on Charlie Wise

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Luke Carnell headed United into a second half lead at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium but Robbie Parker’s fortuitous late equaliser denied the Puritans all three points.

Already missing key players through injury, Ford saw Wise have to be replaced by Tom Bradbury after barely five minutes following an aerial clash with Jack Bowen which left the young defender dazed. And, following Tuesday’s trip to Royston Town, Carnell is suspended for three games after being booked on Saturday.

But it was the injury to Wise which angered the United boss who said: “That was the most blatant red card I’ve seen on Charlie [Wise]. The referee gave me his reasons for not giving it afterwards but he’s out there to protect the players.

“He booked players for much less, their player led with his arm and has caught Charlie straight in the face, which left him dazed, that must tell the referee something.”

Looking back on Saturday’s draw, Ford said: “We should have won it, we controlled the game but we only got a point because we can’t keep a clean sheet.

“Overall, we didn’t have enough players doing well enough to win it. We needed to get the second goal, their keeper has made some decent saves.

“But not keeping a clean sheet has cost us two points. We’ve hardly won any games 1-0 this season.”