Symons bags brace to earn Banbury much-needed win

Kieran Symons bagged a brace for Banbury in Saturday's 5-2 victory at Trojans

Manager Steve Brooker will be looking for Banbury to make it back-to-back wins on Saturday

Banbury twice came form behind to beat Trojans 5-2 in Saturday’s South Premier Hockey League fixture.

Guildford are two places but only one point above us in the table, so this will be a real opportunity to make progress

Banbury manager Steve Brooker

Banbury returned from their latest travels with a valuable three points and have clawed their way back up to fifth in division two a much improved goal difference.

The visitors faltered at the start and found themselves a goal down after only two minutes following a penalty corner. But Banbury are nurturing their own ability to score penalty corners and Aussie Kieran Symons forced home a drag-flick into the bottom corner after 14 minutes which reflected the balance of play.

The home side again took the lead from a dragged flick past the flailing Banbury defence after 21 minutes but it was short-lived. Steve O’Connor, returning to the side after missing the game at Tulse Hill, roofed from short range in a slick Banbury penalty corner routine.

With the first half drawing to a close Banbury struck again when Symons’ inspired aerial pass found O’Connor deep in the home D and his deft control set up Simon Boardman to finish from close range. The game tipped decisively in the visitors’ favour before the break when Symons slammed home a second penalty corner to take a two-goal lead into the halftime break.

The halftime team talk was all about consolidating the visitors’ position and that was achieved early in the second period following a sublime move down the left wing. A quick exchange of passes undid the home defence and allowed Tyson Nunneley to beat the keeper with a deft dummy before firing home to create a three-goal cushion.

Banbury were unable to further capitalise and needed keeper Fergus Dunleavy to pull off the fine save of a penalty-flick to preserve the three-goal cushion as they were reduced to ten players for the last ten minutes of the match.

Manager Steve Brooker said: “We have crowned a fine performance to come back twice and complete a convincing victory away from home and can now really look forward to entertaining Guildford this week and continuing our progress up the table. Guildford are two places but only one point above us in the table, so this will be a real opportunity to make progress.”

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