Puritans earn a point despite Howards seeing red

Banbury United manager Mike Ford saw his side pick up a good point at Swindon
Banbury United manager Mike Ford saw his side pick up a good point at Swindon

Despite playing for most of the game with ten men, Banbury United came away from Swindon Supermarine with a point in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash.

The Puritans had Leam Howards dismissed in first half stoppage-time but still managed to earn a 2-2 draw to stay fifth in Division One South.

United began brightly, Jon Steedman flashed a shot just wide from the edge of the area while keeper Matt Bulman had to be alert to thwart Howards when he burst into the box. At the other end good play down the left by Supermarine ended with Jacob Davidge crossing low but no-one could get the final touch.

Ross Adams nearly put the ball into his own net but Bulman did well to tip the misdirected header over the bar for a corner. Supermarine broke the deadlock in the 34th minute when a cross was only cleared as far as Ash Taylor on the edge of the area and he struck the ball firmly into the corner of net.

Ricky Johnson found Howards who lifted the ball over Bulman but it went wide of the post before United equalised in the 40th minute when an excellent move ended with Zac McEachran releasing Darius Browne who knocked the ball home from five yards.

But United were reduced to ten men in stoppage-time when Howards and Adams had an altercation and the referee showed a straight red card to the United striker.

After the restart Supermarine had the better of the opening exchanges but United defended well and it was the visitors who went in front in the 64th minute. McEachran’s corner came straight back to him and when he returned the ball into the box Johnson was on hand to score from close range.

United held out until the 80th minute when a deep cross was headed home by Josh Parsons at the far post. Sixty seconds later a header from Ashley Edenborough looked destined for the corner of the net but Jack Harding tipped the ball away for a corner.