Pressure growing on home form for Puritans

Banbury United manager Paul Davis faces mounting problems after illness left his squad depleted
Banbury United manager Paul Davis faces mounting problems after illness left his squad depleted

Banbury United manager Paul Davis knows the pressure is increasing on his side to win their home games if they are to get out of trouble.

The Puritans entertain Biggleswade Town in Tuesday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash on the back of their third straight defeat.

A 3-0 defeat at Histon on Saturday leaves them rooted to the foot of the premier division.

With Tom Ryan suspended, Joel Meade and Jack Westbrook ill and Ade Talabi struggling with a shoulder injury, a depleted United side, with several players having to play out of position, were up against it from the start.

Histon made a lively start, Mateusz Kuzimski hit the bar and Tye Phillips shot just over from the edge of the area.

Having survived the early pressure, United fell behind in then 28th minute when Histon broke quickly and a good passing move ended with Nick Freeman crossing low for Phillips to score from 15 yards.

United made a decent response with Jordan Green causing Histon problems but there was no end product to some promising build-ups.

Histon began the second half well on top and doubled their lead in the 57th minute, Evan Key prodding the bouncing ball home from close range after United failed to deal with another cross.

Histon added a third goal five minutes from the end through a 25 yard strike from Salim Relizani which Leigh Bedwell looked to have palmed over but the ball came down just under the bar.

Davis said: “All our preparation went out of the window on Saturday. I had two early phone calls from Joel Meade and Jack Westbrook informing me they were ill. Ben Whitehead was only well enough to play 45 minutes and Callum White only got through the game on medication.

“Ade Talabi wasn’t even in the original squad with his injury but had to come along. If we had a full team I think we could have got a goal less draw.

“We played some good football but had no threat up front.”