Puritans hit six of the best in thriller to ensure safety

Banbury United are safe after they finally got back to winning ways in a ten-goal thriller at Spencer Stadium.

The Puritans beat Biggleswade Town 6-4 in Tuesday’s topsy-turvy Calor League Southern clash and, with AFC Totton losing 3-0 against Redditch United, Edwin Stein’s side cannot be dragged into the premier division relegation zone.

But United made hard work of it, twice having to come from behind, with young keeper Hafed Al-Droubi drafted in to replace the unwell Scott Dutton and enduring a debut of mixed fortunes.

United got off to the perfect start with a goal in the fourth minute when Anderson Pinto’s testing cross was deflected into his own net by Max York. But York redeemed himself five minutes later when he turned in the rebound after Brett Donelly’s header was blocked on the line from Lee Allinson’s inswinging corner.

And it was Donnelly who put Biggleswade ahead in the 23rd minute when he raced on to Craig Daniel’s through ball against a static defence to lob the stranded Al-Droubi from 25 yards. Pinto put United back on level terms two minutes later when he cut inside his marker and beat Alex Taylor at his near post.

And United twice went close to getting their noses in front, Kynan Isaac turned Steve Gentle but his low cross evaded Nic Evangelinos and Pinto. Evangelinos then went close when he beat Gentle but his angled drive hit the underside of the bar and bounced to safety.

Biggleswade regained the lead in the 35th when Al-Droubi failed to cut out a low cross and the ball fell kindly for Jon Wolf to fire home from close range. Allinson extended Biggleswade’s lead in first half stoppage-time when he curled a 20 yard free-kick over the wall into Al-Droubi’s near post with the keeper caught out of position.

Stein had to replace the injured Pinto with Marcus Green during the interval but Claudio Dias reduced the arrears five minutes after the restart when he glanced in Isaac’s cross. Isaac put United back on level terms six minutes later when he chased a hopeful pass and beat Taylor to the ball before slipping it into net with the keeper appealing for a foul.

Evan Key should have put Biggleswade back in front when he lifted the ball over the bar from close range while Donnelly had an effort deflected wide.

Albi Skendi put United back in front in the 65th minute when he raced through to beat Taylor. Four minutes later Isaac crowned a fine performance when he picked up a pin-point pass from Skendi, cut inside and drilled the ball past Taylor and into the far corner of the net.

A minute later Luke Fathers brought down Key in the penalty area but Al-Droubi saved Allinson’s ensuing spot-kick. And moments later a more confident looking Al-Droubi tipped away Key’s goal bound header from Allinson’s corner.

That was it and United saw out eight minutes of stoppage-time to secure their first victory in 15 attempts, much to the delight of their long suffering supporters.