Puritans book home tie in semi-final play-offs

Banbury United captain Andy Gunn scored on his return at Yate
Banbury United captain Andy Gunn scored on his return at Yate

Even if they don’t go up automatically, Banbury United secured themselves a home tie in the Evo-Stik Southern League play-off semi-finals with a 4-0 victory at Yate Town on Saturday.

Returning captain Andy Gunn gave the Puritans the interval lead in Saturday’s Division One South & West clash before Zac McEachran, Mark Bell and substitute Charlie Wise made the points safe in the second half.

With Felipe Barcelos ruled out through illness, Leam Howards partnered Ricky Johnson up front while Gunn came back into the centre of defence after his four-match suspension in place of Wise.

United went close when Howards crossed for Johnson whose header from six yards was saved by Ben Reed. But United broke the deadlock four minutes before the interval when Ollie Stanbridge’s superb cross was headed home by Gunn from close range.

After the restart Johnson had an effort ruled out for offside and then a header from Mark Bell’s corner chalked off for a foul.

But United continued to have the better of the game and doubled their advantage in the 61st minute when George Nash released Zac McEachran who smashed the ball home via the underside of the bar before coming down behind the line.

United made it 3-0 in the 80th minute when good work from Michael Hopkins down the left saw him set up Bell who struck the ball powerfully home from eight yards. Three minutes from time United completed the scoring when a free-kick from the left was headed home by Wise at the far post.