Graham’s winner knocks Puritans out of cup

Manny Duku opened his account for Banbury United in Tuesday's Oxon Senior Cup tie
Manny Duku opened his account for Banbury United in Tuesday's Oxon Senior Cup tie

Jordan Graham’s extra-time winner sent Banbury United crashing out of the Oxon Senior Cup.

The Puritans lost 3-2 in Tuesday’s semi-final against a young Oxford United side at Oxford City’s Marsh Lane ground.

United began the better of the two sides and Manny Duku bustled his way through before firing over the bar from a tight angle. Moments later Duku tried his luck from a similar position but keeper Niall Clayton saved his low drive.

United continued to have more possession as the half developed without seriously troubling Clayton before Oxford gradually came into the tie. Albie Hopkins shot from the edge of the area was saved by Jasko Keranovic who then did well to keep out Aaron Heap’s effort.

Shortly after the restart United went close when Marvin Martin’s cross saw Duku head against the bar and just before the hour mark Darius Browne’s 25 yard drive went just wide.

But Oxford broke the deadlock in the 68th minute when Jack Westbrook’s back pass was intercepted by Graham who stroked the ball home from six yards. Three minutes later a quick break ended with James Cowan hitting the post from the edge of the box.

But United equalised in the 74th minute when Martin’s shot fell to substitute Conor McDonagh who then turned sharply before firing the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

United began to dominate and Browne’s shot went just wide before they took the lead in the 78th minute when Eddie Odhiambo crossed for the incoming Duku to score from close range. But a minute from time United failed to clear a corner and Graham’s header was touched home by Charlie Hawtin.

In the first period of extra-time McDonagh was denied by Clayton and a cross from Sam Humphreys was headed against the bar by Duku, the loose ball came out to Odhiambo whose shot from 12 yards was hacked off the line.

Right at the end of the first period a cross from Adrian Boitos saw McDonagh shoot just over the bar from a narrow angle.

Midway through the second period Matt Berry-Hargreaves superbly cleared off the line from McDonagh. But in the last minute a corner was only partially cleared and the unmarked Graham fired home from eight yards.