Puritans thump Weymouth to maintain their recent revival

Banbury United's Leam Howards is pursued by Weymouth's Calvin Brooks at Spencer Stadium
Banbury United's Leam Howards is pursued by Weymouth's Calvin Brooks at Spencer Stadium

Banbury United produced arguably their best performance of the season to beat Weymouth 3-0 in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash at Spencer Stadium.

Carl Tappin’s first half opener put the Puritans on the way to three premier division points with Leam Howards grabbing his 16th goal of the campaign after the restart and Jacob Walcott wrapping it up from a late penalty.

But it was the impressive Kynan Isaac who played his part in all three goals as United made it two wins and draw from their last three outings ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Poole Town.

Jacob Green was unable to recover from a niggling hip injury so Walcott partnered Howards up front with Shepherd Murombedzi coming into midfield.

Weymouth had the early possession with United relying on their pace for quick counter-attacks but good football was at a premium on a drying pitch in blustery conditions.

Chris Shephard was at the heart of Weymouth’s best moves but the first attempt of any note came from Walcott, his shot on the turn from the edge of the box going well wide of the target. The best chance of a dour first half came just before the break when skipper Stewart Yetton headed just over from Shephard’s near post corner.

But the best move of the first period resulted in United taking the lead on the stroke of halftime. A superb piece of skill from Isacc saw him turn inside two players before wrong-footing the Weymouth defence with a clever reverse pass to Jacob Daffern and his low cross was turned in by Tappin.

Having been given a big boost at the break, United needed to keep it tight after the restart with the onus on Weymouth to force the issue. But Darius Browne had good chance when he broke into the box only to see his chipped effort beat Jason Matthews but end up in the side-netting.

Leigh Bedwell saved George Rigg’s deflected shot before the Puritans keeper produced an even better save on the hour mark. Browne tripped Adam Kelly just inside the box but Bedwell saved his ensuing spot-kick.

Sensing the play-offs were slipping away, Weymouth upped the tempo and Rigg curled an effort just wide of the far post while Shephard shot over from a tight angle.

But United weathered the storm and doubled their advantage in the 77th minute. Weymouth failed to deal with Isaac’s near post corner and Howards pounced to stab the ball home from close range.

Bedwell had a let-off with miscued clearance but the stranded keeper recovered to comfortably save Chris McPhee’s attempted chip before he produced another crucial save to tip Shephard’s low drive around the post despite seeing the ball very late.

United sealed the three points in the 88th minute when Isaac cut into the box and was impeded by substitute Jordan Copp and Walcott beat Matthews from the penalty spot. It got worse for Copp in the final minute of normal time when he received a second caution.