Banbury United’s hopes of reaching their first Oxon Senior Cup final since 2015 were ended in Tuesday’s rearranged semi-final with Kidlington.
Anaclet Odhiambo hit the extra-time winner as the Evo-Stik Southern League outfit got the better of their premier division opponents, winning 3-2 at Marsh Lane. Both sides played for most of the tie with only ten men after dismissals late in the first half but it was the division one side which came through to meet Oxford City in the final.
Kidlington began well and Jack Harding was called into early action, making a decent save from Darius Browne’s shot from the edge of the area. Kidlington continued to have the better of the game as the half developed and a Duran Martin free-kick from just outside the area went just inches wide of the upright.
At that point, United finally began to get to grip with proceedings and a Tom Winters’ shot from the edge of the area was punched away by keeper Sam Warrell. United started to dominate and put Kidlington under pressure but they were unable to find a way through against some resolute defending.
Both sides were reduced to ten men just before the interval, United first when Luke Carnell was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Martin down by the corner flag. It looked as though United would be faced with playing the rest of the game with a man disadvantage but Ben Brown pulled Elliot Sandy back when the striker got ahead of the Kidlington defender and, having already been booked, he was duly dismissed.
The last action of the half saw Charlie Wise get onto the end of a Winters’ free-kick ten yards out but the United central defender was unable to keep his shot down and it went well over the bar.
After a rather uneventful opening to the second half, United made the breakthrough in the 57th minute when Winters crossed for Ricky Johnson to head home at the far post.
Kidlington responded well to going behind and put United under pressure in search of an equaliser. But United went close to doubling their lead when a Jack Finch shot from 20 yards scraped the outside of the post.
But Kidlington had much the better of the game and United were indebted to Harding for keeping them ahead when he made a fine save from Martin’s free-kick, diving at full stretch to palm the ball away when it looked destined for the top corner of the net.
Kidlington always looked likely to find an equaliser which, on the balance of play, they deserved. With just two minutes to go it looked like United would manage to hold out but a corner led to a scramble in the six-yard box and James Organ was on hand to knock the ball home.
In the fifth minute of stoppage time, it looked as though United had snatched a late winner when Johnson struck home a Winters’ free-kick but the assistant referee had already raised his flag for offside.
Kidlington had the better of the first period of extra-time and three minutes into the second period went ahead when a long ball saw Mark Janes get ahead of the United defence and he superbly brought the ball down before stroking it past Harding.
Four minutes later United equalised when substitute Leam Howards was brought down inside the area after he had been put through by Winters. The United striker got up to take the ensuing spot-kick himself which he duly slotted past Warrell.
But United were only back on level terms for two minutes when a corner saw Harding unable to hold on to the ball in the six-yard box and Odhiambo was on hand to knock the ball home.