Puritans perform well but still go out

Banbury United's Callum White keeps his eyes on Mangotsfield United's Lewis Powell
Banbury United's Callum White keeps his eyes on Mangotsfield United's Lewis Powell

Banbury United’s long midweek trip to Paulton Rovers ended in defeat as they were knocked out of the Red Insure Cup.

The Puritans lost 2-1 at Evo-Stik Southern League premier division Paulton in Tuesday’s first round tie where all the goals came in the second half with Leam Howards giving the visitors the lead before Rovers won it with goals from Kyle Tooze and Jordan Ricketts.

United started well, Ricky Johnson fired wide and Zac McEachran put Howards through but his shot was well saved by Ben John as he came out to narrow the angle.

Paulton went close when a free-kick found Tom Knighton who saw his header bounce up and hit the bar.

Paulton had a better spell but United finished the half on top and Howards wriggled his way through to the edge of the area before forcing John to save.

After the restart, Darius Browne shot just wide from the edge of the area before United broke the deadlock in the 59th minute when Howards raced clear and hit a delightful shot from just inside the area on the right with the outside of his foot around John and into the far corner of the net.

But the lead lasted just 60 seconds as Paulton got back on level terms through Tooze.

Despite being pegged back, United continued to dominate the tie, Browne had an excellent chance when he was set up by McEachran but he shot straight at John from six yards.

United had all the play but just couldn’t find their way through and with five minutes remaining paid the price for not being able to press home their dominance. Following a corner the ball fell to Ricketts just inside the area and he struck it into the bottom corner of the net.

United went close when McEachran’s corner was glanced wide by Andy Gunn the premier division held on to advance to the second round.