Under-fire Puritans must show the desire

If ever the Banbury United players needed a big performance it will be at Stratford Town on New Year's Day.

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 1:10 pm
Tom Bradbury could be back for Monday's trip to Stratford Town

The Puritans make the short trip to Stratford on the back of what manager Mike Ford said was his side’s worst performance under his stewardship.

Basement boys Dunstable Town left the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium with all three Evo-Stik Southern League points on Boxing Day after United again failed to hold on to the advantage.

Ford will be looking for a positive response from his under-fire players at Stratford, who went above United following their excellent victory at Redditch United on Tuesday. And United’s play-off hopes were all but ended in defeat at Stratford last season.

United’s poor home form, just two premier division wins so far this season, has been the main problem and just a solitary point at Biggleswade Town over the festive period was hardly a boost for Ford.

The United boss has seen his squad hit by injuries and illness in recent games but will surely make changes for Monday’s game if he is able to.

Tom Bradbury could be back following his ankle injury sustained in the Oxon Senior Cup tie, as could Charlie Wise and George Nash, who missed the game with Dunstable through illness, but Jack Finch will struggle to be back in time.

Ford said: “We’ve got injured players like Tom Bradbury, Charlie Wise and Jack Finch desperate to get back into the game. The players that aren’t in the team at the moment have still got more chance of playing at Stratford than those who played against Dunstable because they didn’t do enough out there on the pitch.”