Puritans see off Hooky to ease into last four

Banbury United booked their place in the last four of the Oxon Senior Cup with 3-0 victory over Hook Norton on Tuesday.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 8th February 2017, 9:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:55 am
Ricky Johnson scored his first goal since returning from injury
Ricky Johnson scored his first goal since returning from injury

With the pitch at The Bourne unplayable, the quarter-final tie was switched to the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium. And that took away any real chance of an upset being caused by the UHLSport Hellenic League club.

Puritans boss Mike Ford fielded a strong side and the Evo-Stik Southern League outfit had too much firepower for the Brewery Boys.

Jasko Keranovic made his debut after signing on-loan from West Bromwich Albion last week as cover for Jack Harding. The young keeper saved a penalty from Reece Bayliss in the second half to cap his first senior game under the watchful eye of Baggies academy goalkeeping coach Mark Naylor.

And it was a close range finish from another on-loan Baggie - James Smith - which gave the Puritans the lead midway through the first half. Darius Browne’s strike from the edge of the box shortly afterwards put the Puritans firmly in control.

A late penalty from Ricky Johnson completed the scoring for the Puritans and Ford said: “The Oxon Senior Cup can sometimes be a banana skin, especially when you are playing a team from just around the corner.

“Hooky are doing fantastic in their division and were desperate to beat us but I think they realised how much it takes to do that. The tie showed the gulf between the two levels and we could have had a few more goals but we kept a clean sheet.

“These can be difficult games but I thought we made it quite comfortable for ourselves and we’re into the semi-finals.

“The players showed a good attitude and some of them had their first 90 minutes for some time. I was able to rest a few players, we didn’t pick up any injuries or bookings.”