Ford puts players on defensive alert

Tom Bradbury should be fit to return against Kings Langley
Tom Bradbury should be fit to return against Kings Langley

Banbury United boss Mike Ford feels his side is now better equipped to deal with the defensive side of their game.

Ford has seen his side throw away winning leads – and points – throughout the Evo-Stik Southern League campaign, much to his frustration. But, since the turn of the year, his players have concentrated on prevention rather than cure.

In those two games we’ve shown we can defend and that’s because the players are better prepared to cope with the situation

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ford knew his side had to be able to defend well, especially in their last two premier division games at Slough Town and King’s Lynn Town. They did, conceding just one goal, the stoppage-time equaliser at the leaders.

Ford said: “I know the players were disappointed by the late equaliser but they deserve all the credit for the way they’ve performed in those two games, especially at King’s Lynn.

“In those two games we’ve shown we can defend and that’s because the players are better prepared to cope with the situation before it happens. We had less possession in both those games but we were ready for when we needed to cover and defend.”

Jack Finch is still ruled out for the game with Kings Langley but Tom Bradbury should be fit to return on Saturday. Meanwhile, Northampton Town have agreed to pay Leon Lobjoit while he is injured which gives Ford more room for manoeuvre in trying to secure another striker.

Looking back on Saturday’s draw, Ford added: “We would have taken a point before the game, the disappointment is from conceding so late. But it’s another step forwards in the development of this team.

“We lacked any quality in the first half but we felt Kings Lynn were vulnerable at the back so we posed more of a threat in the second half. We wanted to make sure we were still in the game by the hour mark and then got our goal.

“My fear once King’s Lynn equalised was that they might get a winner, so it was still a fantastic performance from the players.”