Poor Puritans miss the chance to make up ground

Banbury United's Darius Browne takes on Chesham United's Ashley Smith at Spencer Stadium
Banbury United's Darius Browne takes on Chesham United's Ashley Smith at Spencer Stadium

Banbury United missed the chance to make up ground on their relegation rivals when they lost 2-0 against Burnham in Tuesday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash at Spencer Stadium.

Tuesday’s game between the two lowest clubs in the premier division proved to be a dour affair. The Puritans never looked like picking up the three crucial points once they went behind to a first half opener from Nathan Webb who grabbed his second goal after the restart.

As good as United were against Chesham United they were equally as poor on Tuesday even through manager Paul Davis had to make one change from Saturday, Jack Westbrook replacing the injured Joel Meade.

United had an excellent early chance which went begging when Tom Ryan headed wide from Duran Martin’s free-kick. That chance apart, there were few opportunities in the opening period although Jordan Green made several darting runs into the box without reward.

The first half developed into a scrappy affair with neither side able to create anything in the final third until Burnham broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with another goal of United’s making. Leigh Bedwell came to collect a long punt on the edge of his area but the ball bounced over the stranded keeper and Webb was able to run through to knock it into an empty net.

Green burst into the box again just before the break but could only shoot straight at Alex Lynch as United struggled to make inroads.

After the restart Bedwell did well to keep out a low drive from Victor Osubu while Lynch had to be alert to tip over a 30 yard drive from Luke Cray.

But Webb doubled Burnham’s advantage on the hour mark when he exchanged passes with Osubu before bursting into the box and beat Bedwell with a fierce drive. Moments later Adam Bernard lobbed Bedwell but the ball went over the bar as Burnham looked to make the game safe.

Bidemi Afolabi should have increased Burnham’s lead late on when he lifted the ball over the bar from close range after getting on the end of Webb’s low cross. Davis threw Ryan up front in the closing stages but United failed to seriously trouble Lynch as their approach play was easily snuffed out by the Burnham defence.

Now the United manager has to pick his players up for the Boxing Day trip to Cirencester Town.