Banbury withstand rally to book place in next round

Manager Steve Brooker will be looking for Banbury to make a good start at Henley
Manager Steve Brooker will be looking for Banbury to make a good start at Henley

Manager Steve Brooker will be looking for his Banbury side to carry Sunday’s HA Cup victory into their opening South Premier Hockey League at Henley.

Banbury travel to Henley for the division one fixture on the back of a thrilling 5-4 victory over National League outfit Olton & Warks in Sunday’s first round tie.

New signings Ian Reynolds and Peter Lamb made their debuts but it was Olton who took the lead early from a short corner. Almost immediately Harry Loxton pulled off a fierce reverse stick effort which flew past the keeper’s shoulder.

Banbury took the lead when midfielder George Brooker got on to a loose ball in the circle and produced a back-stick shot into the top corner.

Banbury’s third goal came from good work by the experienced Richard Foreman, who showed great speed and skill down the left flank to give Barney Williams a simple tap-in.

With the hosts in control, Olton started to move away from their game plan, and Steve Campbell was able to steal the ball off Olton’s centre half and cross for Loxton to make it 4-1 before the break.

Olton reduced the arrears after the restart and keeper Scott Reynolds was kept busy as they looked to get back into the tie. Olton pulled another goal back with 15 minutes to go but were reduced to ten men following some cynical tackling.

Banbury restored their two-goal advantage when another fine tackle from Campbell led to a quick counter attack and Best was on hand to score from close range to calm the nerves.

Olton replied with a late goal with two minutes to go but Banbury had done enough to earn a home tie with Teddington in the next round later this month.