Wise head is crucial for Puritans in play-off push

Banbury United's Charlie Wise will get his chance to reclaim his place
Banbury United's Charlie Wise will get his chance to reclaim his place

Strength in depth on the Banbury United bench will be needed over the coming weeks as they go into the business end of the season.

The Puritans are still top of the Evo-Stik Southern League but will surely be overtaken by Cinderford Town in the next couple of weeks.

We have worked long and hard to get this team in a position to challenge

Puritans boss Mike Ford

But the target remains the same, to finish in the Division One South & West play-offs and as high as possible to secure their best draw.

With Andy Gunn shortly facing a three-match suspension following his red card at Taunton, it looks as though Charlie Wise will get his chance to reclaim a berth in central defence.

It was a red card for Wise, albeit two yellow cards in quick succession, which ultimately cost the young defender his place with Jack Westbrook coming in and impressing each week.

Now Wise will get the opportunity to replace his skipper.

The penalty decision and the dismissal of Gunn were key moments in the Taunton game and boss Mike Ford said: “I didn’t see the penalty but I didn’t think Andy Gunn’s challenge was a sending-off, and I couldn’t work out why the referee sprinted across and shoved the red card in his face.

“Andy was frustrated because their striker got the better of him and that doesn’t happen very often.”

“But I don’t get carried away after games about well we’ve played or how poorly we’ve played.

“We have worked long and hard to get this team in a position to challenge. In recent years, a heavy defeat like this may have been the norm for this club, but not now.

“The performance showed that we needed to lose a game, it’s not the ideal place to come all this way and lose 7-1, but it happens, it’s disappointing but what we’ve got to remember is that it’s just three points lost.”