McDonagh makes way as Ford shakes things up

Conor McDonagh has been released by Mike Ford
Conor McDonagh has been released by Mike Ford

Manager Mike Ford admitted it was a difficult decision to release Conor McDonagh.

But something had to give once the Banbury United boss signed striker Leon Lobjoit on-loan from Northampton Town for the remainder of the campaign.

I’ve brought Leon [Lobjoit] in and there may be other players arriving to make us better

Puritans boss Mike Ford

McDonagh joined the Puritans in September, 2016 from Oxford City and made 84 appearances, scoring 31 goals in the process, which was not a bad return for a striker who was quite often used wide this season.

Ford said: “We needed a bit more quality up front, Conor McDonagh worked very hard for us – as do all my players – but I needed to get something different up front.

“Someone had to go and unfortunately for Conor it was him, ideally I would have liked to have kept him. I’ve brought Leon [Lobjoit] in and there may be other players arriving to make us better.”

Looking back on Tuesday’s draw with Basingstoke, Ford said the game summed up his side’s season.

United went into the game on the back of Saturday’s 5-0 victory over basement boys Gosport Borough in which Ricky Johnson completed a second half hat-trick.

But United were unable to make it maximum home points and Ford added: “Tuesday’s game summed up our season, Jack Harding tends to have very little to do yet we seem to end up drawing or losing games. It was a decent goal for their equaliser but again we’ve let a team back into it in the last ten minutes of a game.

“Four points from two games in four days is always something you look for, six points would have been ideal but we’ve moved on to 50 for the season.”

Meanwhile, Ford said Jack Finch will almost certainly be ruled out of the next two games after picking up a knee injury against Gosport on Saturday.