Puritans hope to get going again in two huge home matches

Andy Whing is hoping a few weeks of frustration will end for Banbury United on Saturday.
Banbury United manager Andy WhingBanbury United manager Andy Whing
Banbury United manager Andy Whing

The Puritans saw last weekend’s Isuzu FA Trophy fourth round clash with Coalville Town postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium and the tie suffered the same fate on Tuesday evening due to a frozen surface.

That knockout action has now been put back to next Tuesday evening and, before then, Banbury face a tough home clash against Vanarama National League North high-flyers Darlington on Saturday.

But Whing is hoping the weather will pick up and allow his team to embark on the remainder of their campaign,

“It’s been pretty frustrating for the last five weeks really,” the Banbury boss said.

“We had the cold snap before Christmas and there were two or three games called off and we barely trained.

“The one thing we struggle with is facilities in the area, there are no 4G pitches anywhere near us really so that makes it difficult.

“The lads are probably sick of the gym now, they have worked really hard but we haven’t managed to play any football.

“It’s been really frustrating but hopefully the weather will warm up a bit because we have got some exciting games coming up.

“Saturday is massive. Darlington are very, very good. We went there and beat them in the early part of the season but I think they went on a 15-game unbeaten run after that.

“But we are at home, we have only lost two on our own ground so we are good at home.

“I think seven out of our next 10 league games are all at home so hopefully we can take advantage of that and put some more points on the board.”

Whing, meanwhile, insists his team will be taking their FA Trophy tie with Coalville “seriously” next Tuesday with a place in the last 16 and a home clash with National League side Gateshead awaiting the winners.

“The carrot is there for us for a big home game and getting into the last 16,” he added.

“I think it’s a massive opportunity. I have been in professional football a long time and you don’t get many opportunities to get into the latter stages of cup competitions.

“It’s a game we will be taking very seriously.”