United will see play-off credentials put to test

Banbury United's Zac McEachran closes down Larkhall Athletic's Neil Arndale
Banbury United's Zac McEachran closes down Larkhall Athletic's Neil Arndale

Mike Ford will want to make sure Banbury United are still in the play-offs when they travel to Taunton Town for Tuesday’s tough test.

And to do that, the Puritans will need to avoid slipping up at basement boys Bashley in Saturday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash.

If I build the game up the game at Taunton there’s a danger the players will approach Saturday’s game the way they did against Wantage

Puritans boss Mike Ford

The Puritans thumped pointless Bashley 8-0 earlier in the Division One South & West campaign and another three points will be on offer on Saturday, providing the players approach the game in the manner which Ford expects.

It’s the first of three games on the road, culminating in a trip to lowly Wimborne Town after Tuesday’s trip to second-placed Taunton.

The Puritans boss said: “We will approach Bashley in the same way as any other team, it’s just another game of football. If I build-up the game at Taunton there’s a danger the players will approach Saturday’s game the way they did against Wantage.

“There are lots of incentives for all the players to do well at Bashley and then we will look at Tuesday’s game.”

Ford was happy that Tuesday’s Oxon Senior Cup tie at Oxford City was postponed as Mark Bell and Callum White picked up knocks against Larkhall, while Zac McEachran has been ill.

Bell didn’t train on Tuesday and could be a doubt for Saturday and Ford said he would not be risked such is the strength in depth of his current squad.

Meanwhile, Louis Joyce is spending some time at his former club Oxford City Nomads while Nicholas Kalakoutis has been released.

Ford said: “I don’t want to lose Louis but he needs games after being out through suspension, which, with the postponements, means he’s missed a month’s football.”