Banbury go into Saturday’s South Premier Hockey League fixture with high flying Old Cranleighans on the back of successive victories.
Steve Brooker’s side travelled to London Wayfarers on the back of a solid performance in last week’s derby win over Oxford Hawks.
With Wayfarers just two points above in the division one table a win for Banbury would see them leapfrog their hosts and they did so with a 3-1 success in which Simon Boardman bagged a brace.
A fiercely fought first half saw no goals scored, both teams’ midfielders battled to maintain possession and pressure the oppositions’ defence. Banbury went close with several efforts but they just lacked the finishing touch.
Just before the halftime whistle the visitors had to defend two Wayfarer short corners. The first one was stopped on the line but cleared into a Banbury foot and from the second short corner Josh Nunneley produced an extraordinary pick to deny the hosts.
Banbury opened the scoring shortly after the restart when Harry Brooker connected up with a forward pass from a defensive position. The ball was offloaded to Richard Hobley who hit it into the D with pace where George Brooker guided it past the Wayfarers keeper with a single touch.
An unfortunate turnover gave Wayfarers a reasonably simple equaliser moments later against the run of play. But Banbury’s momentum was not lost and a superb piece of play, linking up from one end of the pitch to the other, saw Harry Loxton send the ball around the keeper through to a well positioned Boardman who put it away.
With Banbury 2-1 up and not a huge amount of time left on the clock, Wayfarers upped the tempo in their attacking pressure, managing to win another short corner.
At what would have been a poor time to concede an equaliser, Banbury defended with cool heads clearing the ball out of a congested defensive space.
With three minutes to go Banbury sealed the points in what was almost a carbon copy of their second goal. Boardman again got himself into a great position to finish off a brilliant team goal and put the game to bed.