Plucky Puritans are sunk by Draycott’s late winner

Banbury United's Jordan Green is challenged by Hungerford Town's Diak John  at Spencer Stadium
Banbury United's Jordan Green is challenged by Hungerford Town's Diak John at Spencer Stadium

Mark Draycott grabbed the stoppage-time winner to sink Banbury United in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash at Spencer Stadium

Hungerford Town won the premier division fixture 2-1 with the prolific Draycott bagging both goals, the first from a disputed penalty which the impressive Jordan Green cancelled out before the break and that also looked to have earned the Puritans a precious point. But Draycott’s winner - and Burnham’s stoppage-time point against Biggleswade Town - sent United back to the foot of the table on goal difference.

United began brightly with Green putting the Hungerford defence on the back foot but the visitors soon had United under pressure and Alan O’Brien broke through but fired over from 25 yards.

Hungerford broke the deadlock in the 14th minute from the penalty spot when the ball hit Darius Browne on the arm following a long throw-in and Mark Draycott beat Leigh Bedwell from the ensuing spot-kick.

James Clark had a goalbound header cleared off the line by Marvin Martin and Matt Day had a shot deflected into Bedwell’s arms. In between, Green tested Paul Strudley from a free-kick.

United slowly got into the contest but failed to serious trouble one of the meanest defences in the division. Duran Martin fired over at the end of United’s best move just before the break when Jacob Walcott cut the ball back from Green’s deep cross.

But United deservedly equalised four minutes before the interval when Browne beat Gary Horgan on the left flank and Green turned in his low cross from ten yards.

The first chance of an even second period came on the hour mark when Clark shot straight at Bedwell followed by James Rusby firing wide with a speculative shot. Hungerford began to get on top as the half progressed but Tom Ryan went close from a set-piece when he headed over.

Green then did well to beat Diak John and cut inside but his goalbound shot was blocked by Day and Leam Howards had a header cleared off the line by Horgan from Green’s corner. Sensing United could win it, manager Paul Davis threw on new signings Kane Pope and Lerou Tahir who had a header which Strudly comfortably saved.

United still looked to be heading for a point until Draycott hit the winner two minutes into stoppage-time. They switched off at a crucial time when Horgan crossed to the far post where Draycott volleyed home into the far corner.