Puritans face two different challenges

Banbury United's Mark Bell closes down Cinderford Town's Joe Turley. Photo: Rob Lacey
Banbury United's Mark Bell closes down Cinderford Town's Joe Turley. Photo: Rob Lacey

Banbury United boss Mike Ford says it’s a huge weekend for the club – on and off the field – ahead of a cup and league double-header.

The Puritans are in FA Cup and Evo-Stik Southern League action as they look to keep their encouraging start going.

It’s probably as tough a draw we could get at this stage

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Ford’s side travel to Combined Counties League premier division outfit Hartley Wintney for Saturday’s preliminary round tie before entertaining Evesham United in Monday’s Division One South & West clash.

Ford said: “It’s a huge weekend for the club and you have to try and take advantage of any situation. Coming into the FA Cup a round earlier gives the club the opportunity to earn more money but I’m looking at it from a purely football point of view.

“They are two different games but we will approach them exactly the same. Hartley are flying high in a league below us and Evesham will be expected to at least make the play-offs again.

“Saturday’s game will be a really tough one, Hartley Wintney are playing with a lot of confidence. It’s probably as tough a draw as we could get at this stage.”

If United get through they will be at home to Badshot Lea or Fleet Town in the next round but Ford warned: “To get through we’ve got to produce a performance. If we don’t, a home draw won’t matter because we will be out.

“We will show Hartley the same respect as we did for Cinderford but if we perform how we can we should get the right result.

“Evesham have got a good budget and some experienced players. They will pose different challenges, the question is can we answer them?”