Puritans get back on track at the basement boys

Banbury United winger Tom Winters played a big part in his side's success at Gosport Borough
Banbury United winger Tom Winters played a big part in his side's success at Gosport Borough

As expected, Banbury United finally got back to winning ways at Gosport Borough on Tuesday night.

The Puritans romped to a 4-0 success against the Evo-Stik Southern League basement boys who have a single point. Three goals in the space of 15 first half minutes put Mike Ford’s side in control of the premier division contest as they ended a run of three straight defeats.

United got off to the best of starts, going ahead in the third minute when a cross from Tom Winters was headed home from six yards by Jefferson Louis. Just three minutes later it was 2-0 when another Winters’ cross fell to Ravi Shamsi just inside the area and he did well to make room for a shot, before firing home from ten yards.

Louis saw another effort cleared off the line by Ed Sanders before the game was all over as a contest in the 15th minute when a Winters’ corner was only cleared out as far as Charlie Hawtin who returned the ball back to the winger and his cross was headed home by Tom Bradbury.

Despite being 3-0 down, Gosport responded well and Jack Harding made an excellent save to deny Matt Buse from the edge of the area.

Gosport enjoyed their best spell for the remainder of the half but United defended well and always looked dangerous going forward. Just before the break another Winters cross saw Luke Carnell head against the bar with Louis seeing his header also hit the bar from the rebound.

After the restart, Darren Pond saw his shot smash against the bar before Gosport went on to have the better of the half and United again had to work to keep them at bay. But United got to grip with the game once more in the closing stages and they went close three times.

A surging run from Winters from the halfway line saw him release Conor McDonagh on the edge of the area but his shot was well saved by Lewis Watch, Shamsi fired just wide from 18 yards and a Winters’ free-kick found Bradbury who fired just over the bar.

But the fourth goal arrived in the 81st minute when a cross from Jack Self was headed home by McDonagh from eight yards. There was still time for Watch to twice deny Shamsi and substitute Charlie Wise saw his header cleared off the line.