White’s wonder goal wins it for the Puritans

Banbury United's Charlie Wise heads over the bar during Tuesday's victory over Marlow
Banbury United's Charlie Wise heads over the bar during Tuesday's victory over Marlow

Callum White grabbed the superb winner as Banbury United picked up three more points against Marlow in Tuesday’s Evo-Stik Southern League clash.

The Puritans won 2-1 in the Division One South & West fixture at Spencer Stadium where all three goals came in the second half. Both captains were on the scoresheet, Andy Gunn breaking the deadlock, Chris Ovenden equalised before White won it.

Marlow started brightly, building well until they got into the final third and then running out of ideas, while United looked to go forward too early at times, looking for the pace of Leam Howards, and gave away possession needlessly.

The visitors were quicker to the ball - and to close United down - while Davontae Romeo’s trickery caused problems around the area. Kunle Otudeko flashed a shot wide from the edge of the box before Marcus Mealing robbed Duran Martin and found Sam Bangura but he shot weakly at Jack Harding.

At the other end United’s first chance fell to Ricky Johnson who volleyed over from Mark Bell’s cross-cum-shot and moments later Howards was thwarted by Adam Richards as he tried to get in a shot.

United gradually got into the game and Charlie Wise headed over from Bell’s corner. United enjoyed their best spell of the half but Jordace Holder-Spooner shot straight at Harding as the game opened up and Otudeko tested the United keeper. In between, Howards had a close range shot blocked and Wise headed wide from another Bell corner.

Mike Ford put Zac McEachran on for the second half but the visitors picked up from where they left after the restart and United were again given limited time on the ball.

But United broke the deadlock in the 56th minute when Bell’s free-kick was flicked on by Johnson and Gunn got the final touch to beat Grant at his far post. However, the lead lasted just six minutes when a cross from Richie Whittingham evaded Jack Westbrook and Ovenden nipped in to beat Harding.

United should have regained the lead when Bell jinked his way into the area and picked out substitute Louis Joyce whose close range shot was deflected for a corner.

Ford still thought his side could win it and he threw on Darius Browne. And his hunch paid off when United got back in front in the 76th minute, a flowing move ended with McEachran releasing White into the box and his first time drive flew past Grant at his near post.

Bell’s curling effort was deflected for a corner and McEachran’s low drive was saved by Grant as United upped the tempo as they looked to increase their advantage. Browne should have done just that in stoppage-time after being picked out by McEachran but he allowed Grant to save at his feet.