Shamsi strikes twice as Puritans hit Barwell for six

Banbury United's Amer Awadh challenges Barwell's Nigel Julien during Saturday's goal feast. Photo: Steve Prouse
Banbury United's Amer Awadh challenges Barwell's Nigel Julien during Saturday's goal feast. Photo: Steve Prouse

Banbury United produced a five-star second half show to make it four Evo-Stik League South home wins on the spin.

The Puritans thumped Barwell 6-1 in Saturday’s premier division central clash at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium where Ravi Shamsi took over as the club’s top scorer. Shamsi bagged a second half brace after Greg Kaziboni’s first half opener had been cancelled out by Anthony Dwyer with Matt Taylor, Giorgio Rasulo and substitute Steve Diggin also getting on the score sheet.

Manager Mike Ford made just one change to the starting line-up from Tuesday’s victory over Alvechurch with Amer Awadh replacing Mark Bell.

After a scrappy opening, both sides had chances. Shamsi headed over after Ricky Johnson had helped on Rasulo’s free-kick while Alex Tomkinson’s corner found Brad-Lee Gascoigne whose header fell to Jahvan Davidson-Miller but his close range effort was blocked on the line by Eddie Odhiambo.

United broke the deadlock in the 19th minute when Shamsi’s deep cross was knocked back in by Johnson for Kaziboni to finish with a first time volley which found its way past the diving Liam Castle.

But Barwell equalised in the 25th minute when Davidson-Miller found the overlapping Dwyer who hit a screamer past Manny Agboola and into the roof of the net from 18 yards.

The goals failed to improve the game as a spectacle but Barwell created the better chances as the half progressed. Nigel Julien’s cross was headed wide by Davidson-Miller and Dwyer fired over from the edge of the box.

But that all changed after the restart as United came out with all guns blazing.

Johnson headed straight at Castle from a cross by Kaziboni who then shot over following a good run from Awadh. United regained the lead in the 54th minute when Gascoigne failed to deal with a flick-on from Johnson and the ball ran free to Shamsi who beat the advancing Castle from 15 yards.

United increased their lead four minutes later with an outstanding individual effort from Taylor. The on-loan Oxford United full-back picked up the ball on the left flank and went on a mazy run into the box, leaving three players in his wake before beating Castle with a low drive into the far corner of the net.

And a fourth goal arrived in the 63rd minute but this time it was a real team affair. Kazibono broke on the right and released Shamsi and his low cross was turned into the net from close range by Rasulo.

United were running riot and goal number five came four minutes later following another excellent move. Kaziboni advanced on the right and found Shamsi who exchanged passes with Awadh on the edge of the box before ghosting past Eliot Putman and beating Castle at his near post from a tight angle.

United were still not finished. Awadh’s curling drive was headed wide by Gascoigne before another excellent passing move ended with Diggin volleying in Taylor’s deep cross at the far post in the 81st minute to round it off.