Banbury United went top of the BetVictor Southern League following a 3-1 victory at newly-promoted Peterborough Sports.
First half goals from Claudio Dias and John Mills, recalled in place of top scorer Jannai Gordon, with his second of the season gave the Puritans a 2-0 lead in Tuesday’s Premier Central clash. Gordon came off the bench to increase United’s lead in the second half before Cameron Johnson got a late consolation.
After arriving late at the ground, United were understandably slow to get going and Mark Jones had the game’s first chance after being set up by former Puritan Lewis Hilliard.
But it was United who struck first when they took a ninth minute lead. Giorgio Rasulo’s low shot was turned around the upright by Lewis Moat. Rasulo’s ensuing corner was headed goalwards by Jack Westbrook, Moat kept it out but the ball fell kindly for Dias to volley past Moat.
United went close to doubling their advantage when Ricky Johnson released Mills who was thwarted by the advancing Moat. But from then on, Peterborough had the better of the exchanges with Johnson and Hilliard both shooting wide while Jack Harding did well to foil Johnson after he was set up by Jones.
At the other end, Mills twisted and turned before firing straight at Moat. A neat build-up involving Dias and Anderson ended with Mills crossing for Johnson who was denied by Moat.
Johnson headed over from Rasulo’s free-kick before United doubled their lead in the 38th minute. Johnson released Mills who was denied by Moat but he was quickest the rebound and tucked it away on the half-volley.
It was almost 3-0 on the stroke of halftime when Rasulo’s corner was headed goalwards by Johnson but Dan Lawlor cleared off the line.
After the restart, Dion Sembie-Ferris had a shot blocked, Josh McCammon saw his effort deflected wide and Hilliard’s ensuing corner caused Harding problems.
Richard Jones headed wide but it was United who struck again in the 72nd minute when the ball fell for Gordon on the edge of the box and he beat Moat with a low drive. Johnson grabbed a late consolation in the 90th minute, firing home after Lee Henderson had headed clear the initial danger.