Things look a whole lot better in final third

Banbury United skipper Ricky Johnson
Banbury United skipper Ricky Johnson

Only a couple of weeks ago, many Banbury United supporters must have been wondering where the goals were going to come from this season.

Club captain Ricky Johnson was still struggling to get fit following his injury in the final game of last season, new signing Pablo Haysham had been ruled out for a month with a hamstring strain and John Mills was only just getting back to match fitness.

We’re in a much better position up front than what we were a couple of weeks ago

Puritans boss Mike Ford

But things looks a whole lot better now with Johnson making a surprise return last weekend in the final pre-season friendly and Mills at last getting off the mark against Wantage Town.

Haysham will still be missing for the start of the season so much will depend on Mills hitting the ground running this time, if he does then he may just be the man to come up with the goals. Saturday’s opener at Redditch may come too soon for Johnson but manager Mike Ford is a lot more relaxed than he was.

Ford said: “We’re in a much better position up front than what we were a couple of weeks ago, having Ricky Johnson back in training and John Mills ready to go. John should be ready to go now, Ricky will need a bit longer, but I’m much happier now.

“I’m happy with the look of the squad, we’ve got some young players who have done well in pre-season who I need to keep around the club. We’ve good cover at the back, especially with the addition of Connor Roberts, tenacity as well as quality in midfield with Jack Westbrook, and a goalscorer in John Mills up front. I feel we’re in a good position.”