Hilliard's stoppage-time strike denies Puritans at the leaders

Toby Hilliard's stoppage-time equaliser denied Banbury United all three points at Evo-Stik Southern League leaders King's Lynn Town.

Jack Self gave Banbury United the lead at King's Lynn Town
Jack Self gave Banbury United the lead at King's Lynn Town

The Puritans had to settle for a point at the premier division leaders following Saturday’s 1-1 draw. Jack Self gave United the second half lead but Hilliard popped up to salvage a late point for the Linnets.

There was just one change to United’s starting line-up from Saturday’s victory at Slough Town with Jordy Ngathe coming in for the injured Tom Bradbury.

The home side started the better of the two sides. An early cross saw Dion Frary shoot just wide stretching as he came in at the 12 yard line and a good move ended with Simon Lappin shooting wide of the far post from the edge of the area.

A promising move by United saw Ngathe cross from the left and Ricky Johnson, under pressure from a defender, headed wide. Moments later the Linnets went close when a cross from Lappin saw Craig Parker head the ball against the bar at the far post.

While the leaders had much the better of the rest of the half, United defended well to keep them out and stay on level terms at the break.

United were much improved early in the second half, having their fair share of the game and showing good promise going forward. But United were indebted to Jack Harding to keep them on level terms when he did well to come out and smother the ball at the feet of Liam Mrettam after he broke through.

On the hour mark, a Ryan Hawkins shot, lacking enough power, was cleared off the line by Charlie Hawtin. Moments later, as King’s Lynn again started to dominate once more, a Hawkins’ shot from the edge of the area was well held by Harding.

But United rocked the leaders in the 74th minute when good build-up play saw substitute Leam Howards set Self through on goal and he calmly fired the ball past Alex Street from 12 yards, much to the delight of the travelling Puritan support.

Harding made an excellent save to keep United ahead, diving to his left to tip a Michael Gash free-kick. But unlike last week at Slough, United couldn’t hold on and in the third minute of stoppage-time Mettam set up Hilliard and he fired the ball home from ten yards to earn the Linnets a point.