Puritans extend unbeaten run with another point

Jack Harding''kept a clean sheet for the Puritans at Shortwood
Jack Harding''kept a clean sheet for the Puritans at Shortwood

Banbury United go into Saturday’s clash with Evo-Stik Southern League leaders Cinderford Town on the back of another decent display on the road.

The Puritans returned from Shortwood United with another point in Saturday’s Division One South & West stalemate and now look forward to welcoming the leaders to Spencer Stadium.

In an even first half neither team dominated with United’s best chances coming from two long range efforts from Mark Bell midway through the period. Tom Parry could only parry Bell’s first shot but reclaimed the ball as Ricky Johnson moved in before the Shortwood keeper kept out his second effort from a free-kick.

Shortwood’s best effort of the first half, and indeed the contest, saw winger Ross Staley shave the outside of the post. Bell went close shortly after the restart when he curled a free-kick from the edge of the box around the wall but King palmed it away.

Manager Mike Ford threw on Louis Joyce and Darius Browne as he went for all three points late on. Browne’s trickery caused some problems on the left and Joyce linked up well with Johnson but United could not find the breakthrough.

At the other end, Shortwood twice took advantage of some hesitant defending but failed to test keeper Jack Harding as they had to settle for their first draw of the season.