Redditch inflict back-to-back defeats on the Puritans

Jefferson Louis maintained his goal a game run in Banbury United's defeat to Redditch United
Jefferson Louis maintained his goal a game run in Banbury United's defeat to Redditch United

Banbury United’s excellent start to the Evo-Stik Southern League campaign received a second setback in four days against Redditch United on Tuesday.

Redditch ran out 3-1 winners at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium in Tuesday’s premier division clash to inflict back-to-back defeats on the Puritans.

The visitors raced into a 2-0 interval lead with a cracker from Dior Angus and Spencer Weir-Daley’s header before increasing their lead in the second half through substitute Danico Johnson. United pulled a goal back in stoppage-time when that man Jefferson Louis maintained his goal a game run with his seventh of the campaign but it came far too late.

Manager Mike Ford made several changes from the side which lost against Frome Town with Jack Westbrook and Jack Self coming back in while Leam Howards made his first start. Darren Pond, Tom Winters and Conor McDonagh had to be content with a place on the bench following Saturday’s first defeat.

Redditch posed the early threat. Andi Thanoj’s free-kick went just over and Angus headed wide from Weir-Daley’s cross before the former Puritan latched on to a pass from Kevin Da Veiga Monteiro but Jack Harding turned his low drive around the far post.

Da Veiga Monteiro tested Harding from the edge of the box but the United keeper could do little to prevent Redditch from taking a 24th minute lead. Jack Harding’s attempted clearance from Ricky Johnson’s back pass hit Luke Carnell and fell to Dior who curled a superb shot into the top corner of the net.

Redditch deservedly doubled their advantage in the 31st minute when Weir-Daley outjumped United’s defenders to powerfully head home Nathan Fox’s deep cross at the far post.

United found it difficult to get any time on the ball as Redditch dominated possession, shifting the ball quickly to pose all the questions. On-loan West Brom keeper Ethan Ross was untroubled during the first half as United failed to offer a serious threat.

Weir-Daley fired another effort just past the upright after being picked out with a neat pass from the experienced Thanoj.

United had a great chance to reduce the arrears immediately after the restart but Ricky Johnson could only lift Ravi Shamsi’s free-kick over the bar from six yards. United showed more urgency and Self’s effort was deflected wide but in between Orrin Pendley headed straight at Harding from a corner.

Charlie Hawtin’s intended cross landed on top of the net as the wind and driving rain hampered United’s efforts in the final third.

Gulyoulouwe Mailancol’s overhead kick went just wide before Redditch wrapped up the points in the 75th minute when Johnson was allowed to work his way across the box before drilling the ball into the bottom corner of the net for his first goal of the season.

Johnson went close to a quick-fire double moments later, firing straight at Harding while McDonagh’s low drive was blocked by Mailancol. Louis had a late effort ruled out for offside while Fox was inches away with a fierce drive which flew past Harding’s upright.

Louis was not to be denied his customary goal and he headed home Shamsi’s free-kick in stoppage-time but it was little more than a consolation.