Wise and Barcelos take Puritans back to the top

Banbury United keeper Jack Harding kept another clean sheet at Wantage Town
Banbury United keeper Jack Harding kept another clean sheet at Wantage Town

Banbury United regained top spot in the Evo-Stik Southern League following Monday’s 2-0 victory at Wantage Town.

Second half goals from Charlie Wise, his first for the club, and substitute Felipe Barcelos earned United all three Division One South & West points at Wantage.

That took Mike Ford’s side back to the top, a point ahead of Cinderford Town, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Shortwood United.

Ford restored Ollie Stanbridge to midfield with Jack Westbrook resuming in central defence and Ricky Johnson back up front. Darius Browne also came in to partner Johnson up with Barcelos and Leam Howards on the bench.

United dominated from the start, Mark Bell’s shot from the edge of the area went just wide and Johnson had an effort deflected on to the top of the bar. Bell was denied by keeper Eddie Cananagh as Wantage kept United out.

At the other end a rare defensive mistake let in Sam Collier but he shot well over the bar as Jack Harding came out to narrow the angle.

Six minutes after the restart Bell drove into the area and got to the bye-line where he was brought down by Adam Doyle for a clear penalty. But Bell’s ensuing spot-kick was saved by Cavanagh.

Seconds later a Bell cross from the left was headed just inches wide by Wise. But the young defender was not to be denied and he broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute, Bell’s corner was met by Wise and his header was scooped away by Cavanagh but the ball had crossed the line.

United doubled their advantage in the 73rd minute when a long kick out by Jack Harding saw Barcelos use his pace to get ahead of the Wantage defence and then beat Cavanagh in a one-on-one situation from just inside the area despite the keeper getting his fingertips to the ball.