McDonagh hits late equaliser to earn Puritans a point

Conor McDonagh gave Banbury United the lead at Merthyr Town
Conor McDonagh gave Banbury United the lead at Merthyr Town

Conor McDonagh grabbed the late equaliser as Banbury United picked up another Evo-Stik Southern League point at St Ives Town.

But the Puritans had to do it the hard way as they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in Saturday’s premier division clash.

United went behind in the third minute when Jack Harding slipped while clearing the ball from the edge of the area, injuring himself in doing so and was unable to recover in time, leaving Rogan McGeorge to fire home from 30 yards into an empty net.

Harding was able to continue after treatment as United initially struggled to get a foothold in the game but, as the half developed, it became a more equal affair.

Things got worse for United in the 25th minute as St Ives doubled their advantage down when a cross was headed home from the edge of the six-yard box by Ollie Snaith.

United reduced the arrears in the 36th minute when a Tom Winters cross was picked up by Jefferson Louis at the far post, his shot was parried by Tim Trebes and Jack Self fired home the rebound from six yards.

After the restart, United began to have the better of proceedings and put St Ives under pressure. A cross from Winters saw Louis denied by the outstretched leg of Trebes.

United continued to push forward in search of an equaliser but St Ives defended well. With time running out the Puritans equalised in the 88th minute when Ricky Johnson headed the ball on for McDonagh inside the box and, from a narrow angle, he fired through Trebes’ legs and into the back of the net.

United almost won it in the fifth minute of stoppage-time when Louis let fly from the edge of the area and the ball struck the far post.