Puritans’ road trips will be up and down

Banbury United manager Mike Ford
Banbury United manager Mike Ford

Banbury United could not have asked for two more difficult away games when they resume Evo-Stik Southern League action.

The Puritans travel to Kettering Town on Saturday before heading to premier division leaders Chippenham Town three days later.

We couldn’t have had two more difficult away games than these two

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Manager Mike Ford said: “We couldn’t have had two more difficult away games than these two. Kettering haven’t started that well but I’m sure they will be up there at the end of the season and Chippenham are top.

“But we’ve done okay so far. We’ve played eight games including the FA Cup, won four and lost four but I feel we’ve deserved more points from the four narrow defeats.

“Winning the first three games may have given everyone the idea that it was going to be easy. But everyone is more realistic about the season now.

“Our budget means we are not going to be anywhere near challenging teams at the top of the table.

“I would like to bring one or two players in but we just can’t afford them. That means I have to improve the squad I’ve got and we need to do that in all areas.”

Jack Westbrook misses Saturday’s game at Kettering so Ricky Johnson will remain in central defence, having deputised for And Gunn previously.

David Lynn has left the club and that leaves United short of left-back with Michael Hopkins having already departed but Ford is expecting to sign a replacement later this week.

And Ford is hopeful that Zac McEachran could be back in contention for the Emirates FA Cup trip to Cirencester Town the following week.