Ford will ring the changes to see in the New Year

Banbury United manager Mike Ford will make changes for New Year's Day
Banbury United manager Mike Ford will make changes for New Year's Day

Banbury United boss Mike Ford says there will be changes for the first game of 2019.

The Puritans entertain Evo-Stik League South high-fliers Alvechuch on New Year’s Day, looking to end a run of back-to-back defeats.

I’m sure it will be different on New Year’s Day because we’ll be playing against a team near the top and we’ll be able to play with more freedom

Puritans boss Mike Ford

The Boxing Day setback at Stratford Town, where United’s eight-match unbeaten run was ended, was followed by Saturday’s disappointing reverse at lowly Halesowen Town, who recorded their first win in 12 premier division central outings. And it was the same old story for Ford’s side to that earlier in the season when they were conceding goals in quick succession.

Dan Sweeney broke the deadlock after the restart and moments later veteran striker Lee Hughes doubled Halesowen’s advantage and there was no way back for United.

Ford told Puritans Radio: “Two of our seven losses have been against teams in the bottom three. Halesowen were desperate to get something from the game and we didn’t ever cope with that.

“I kept the same side because I felt those players deserved the chance to put the Stratford result right. But we were lacking in crucial areas and there will be changes for the Alvechurch game.

“Halesowen fully deserved their victory, we kept going but after conceding two quick goals we lost our composure. After going behind, we then allowed a former Premier League striker on his own in the six-yard box to get the second goal.

“We have to be ready for these challenges and we weren’t at Halesowen. But I’m sure it will be different on New Year’s Day because we’ll be playing against a team near the top and we’ll be able to play with more freedom.”