Substitute James Potton condemned Banbury United to back-to-back Evo-Stik League South defeats.
Potton’s superb speculative stoppage-time winner earned high-flying Royston Town all three premier division central points at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.
The only goal of Saturday’s game came moments after Giorgio Rasulo had missed a chance to win it from the spot, the first time he has failed to convert from six penalties. Rohdell Gordon had earlier missed a first half penalty when his spot-kick was saved by on-loan keeper Manny Agboola on his debut.
In a fast, lively opening, Royston had an early chance when Vance Bola advanced and his low drive was comfortably gathered by Agboola. Gordon’s 20 drive was well saved by Agboola as Royston made all the early running.
United went close when Rasulo won possession on the edge of the box and found John Mills who fired over.
Agboola went from villain to hero inside the space of 60 seconds midway through the first half when he came to claim a high ball on the edge of his area and collided with Adam Murray. The referee pointed to the spot but Agboola redeemed himself by flying across his goal to palm away Gordon’s ensuing spot-kick.
United went close following a splendid move on the right involving Rasulo and Greg Kaziboni which ended with Mills firing just wide of the far post from the edge of the box.
United almost broke the deadlock just before the break when Rasulo’s free-kick fell to Jack Finch in the six-yard box but he couldn’t get a clean contact under pressure and Joe Welch smothered his effort.
After the restart, both teams struggled to pick-up the tempo of the opening period and retain possession.
Royston went close when Welch’s long clearance caused problems in the box, Agboola came and failed to gather, Harry Whitehead headed clear and Josh Castiglione volleyed wide from ten yards.
The introduction of Jack Self gave United more guile in midfield and he did well to set-up Mills who could not get his shot away from a tight angle. George Nash set Mills away and the on-loan Bath City striker broke into the box but Welch was equal to his low drive.
United enjoyed their best spell of the game and created two good openings, more good play from Rasulo sent Marvin Martin away on the left but his dangerous cross eluded everyone in the six-yard box. Moments later Gus Scott-Morriss thwarted Mills from Rasulo’s pull back at the near post.
United looked the side most likely to win it in the second half but Royston threatened in the closing stages when Ben Martin headed wide at the far post from a deep corner and moments later substitute Chris Assombalonga burst into the box only to be denied by another good save from Agboola.
Both sides had chances late on. Assombalonga headed home a cross from Gordon at the far post but was ruled offside.
United squandered a glorious chance moments later when Rasulo was tripped by Jordan Norville-Williams in the box – penalty. Rasulo took it but his spot-kick came back off the inside of the post and went back across the face of goal before being cleared.
Royston won it two minutes into stoppage-time when a header from the impressive Charlie Wise fell kindly for Potton 25 yards out and his volley flew over Agboola and into the back of the net. Tough to take.