Players must deal with the pressure in final says Ford

Jack Westbrook was a rock at the back for Banbury United against Winchester City
Jack Westbrook was a rock at the back for Banbury United against Winchester City

Banbury United boss Mike Ford says his players will have to deal with the pressure if they are to finish the job off on Monday.

The Puritans entertain Taunton Town in Monday’s Evo-Stick Southern League play-off final for the right to play premier division football next season.

But Ford says his side will have to be more relaxed and make better decisions than they did in Tuesday’s Division One South & West semi-final with Winchester City.

Felipe Barcelos bagged the late winner as United won 1-0 at Spencer Stadium, where they will have the chance to gain promotion on Monday.

Ford said: “We’ve got to deal with the nerves on Monday, play a bit better and our decision making must be better.

“It was an edgy night all round, there are a lot of young players in my side and Winchester made it really difficult for us. They dropped off and let us have the ball but we spent too long on it and didn’t move it quick enough.

We’ve got to deal with the nerves on Monday, play a bit better and our decision making must be better

Puritans boss Mike Ford

“That was my fourth 1-0 victory in seven play-off games during my career. They can be very tight and tense affairs but we should have won this one by a country mile.

“Their keeper has made several good saves, we should have scored straight after halftime when Felipe [Barcelos] managed to give the ball back to the keeper instead of putting it into the net.”