Archive for Banbury United Football Club

FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round Draw

The FA Cup draw for the third qualifying round was made on Monday morning and our two teams left in the competition have the following draws:


7 Banbury United (Step 3) v Shildon (Step 5)

Banbury United have been handed a home draw, just as manager Mike Ford asked for on Saturday, and like Saturday they face a side from two steps below in Shildon FC of the Northern League Division One. Shildon currently sit seventh in their league table and are yet to be beaten in their league campaign, but face a long trip down to the Banbury Skip Hire Community Stadium with over a 420-mile round trip for the tie.


37 Folkestone Invicta (Step 3) v Aylesbury United (Step 4)

Aylesbury face the long 240-mile round trip down to Folkestone for their game, and a tough game it will be against higher level opposition. Currently occupying ninth in the Isthmian Premier Division Invicta have only lost one of their six league games to date however United have been in fine form since their Bank Holiday win kick started their season at Aylesbury FC and will go onto this fixture with some confidence.


Both games will be played over the week-end of 30th September.

Banbury United 2-0 Thatcham Town

Banbury United – 2

Thatcham Town – 0

Whilst the FA Cup may no longer capture the imagination of the footballing world in the higher echelons, in the world of non-league football it is what dreams really are made of. Banbury United went into this game in a no win situation; having started the season on fire and winning their opening five league games and then a FA Cup tie to make it six in a row, they then suffered two defeats at home in the space of three days, meaning that Saturday’s fixture against two steps lower lever Thatcham meant they simply had to win.

Not only to progress in the oldest knock-out cup competition in the world,  not only to claim the financial reward which is so vital to lower level football, not only to keep themselves off the ‘cup-shock’ list, but also to get their season back on track. Whilst neither side had delusions of getting to the latter stages of this prestigious tournament there is still a chance of getting a good draw in the next round which could then potentially see you just ninety minutes off the chance of a National League ex-football league club coming to town.

Thatcham defended well, frustrating their hosts for large periods of the first half. Tom Winters blazed high over the bar in the second minute from outside the box, whilst a right-wing cross was headed straight at Town keeper Chris Rackley by Darren Pond. Winters was working hard down the left wing and on fourteen minutes a fierce drive forced Bab Jarra to stick out a boot to divert for a corner.

Conor McDonagh caused problems all afternoon and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet moments later, when cutting in from the left he fizzed the ball across the six-yard box forcing the slightest of deflections off Rackley which saw the ball spiral towards the bottom corner but eventually rolling wide of the back post for a corner.

Thatcham had a chance on twenty-eight minutes when Henry Owen hooked a cross over his shoulder and just wide, before McDonagh at the other end rolled off the shoulder of his marker to face a one-on-one with Rackley but the keeper turned his effort around his post. Another cross from the Banbury left was completely misjudged by the Thatcham defence and the ball fell to McDonagh who had more time than he realised, he snatched at his shot pulling it wide.

The opening goal came on forty-two minutes, a crunching tackle in midfield saw a free kick awarded to the home side and some discussions between both sets of players and the referee over the severity of the tackle. After a yellow card was shown and treatment given, Winter lofted the free kick into the Town penalty area and Luke Carnell rose highest to loop a header into the far corner.

Carnell opens scoring

The visitor’s almost got a foot back in the game on the stroke of half-time when Josh Helmore received the ball inside the six-yard box with back to goal, he managed to turn his marker and shoot and Harding had to get down low to block. H/T: 1-0

Two minutes after the break Banbury doubled their lead when a Tom Winter corner was met on the corner of the six-yard box by Darren Pond who stooped low to try and connect, but coming in behind both Helmore and Dylan Knight stuck out a boot and the ball ended up in the back of the net. Winters then dispossessed the Town midfield and slid a pass through for McDonagh to run on to, his shot again saved by the feet of Rackley.

Who scored?

Thatcham then enjoyed some possession and a poor United clearance was thumped over the top from thirty yards by Tom Melledew. Another Tom Winter corner then found Carnell and his header looped up and onto the top of the net, before a Town corner from Lamin Sankoh was met at the front post by the head Owen who steered agonisingly inches wide.

A cross from the Thatcham right then saw Sankoh go up against a defender and keeper, just as he looked set to pull a goal back Charlie Hawtin got in a vital block and Harding reacted quickest to gather the loose ball. A United free kick then floated to the back stick was headed narrowly wide by Jefferson Louis, just as the home crowd thought they would be celebrating his ninth consecutive goal in nine successive games.

Chris Rackley then had to be alert twice late on to deny Banbury substitute Leam Howards who got in behind the defence to get shots away, but both times the Town keeper threw himself in front of the ball to block. F/T: 2-0

Attendance: 450

Banbury manager Mike Ford spoke to Sports Shots after the game: 


For match photography click here:


FAC 2QR Banbury skipper talks exclusively to Sports Shots

Saturday 16th September 2017

Banbury United v Thatcham Town

FA Cup Second Qualifying Round

Kick-Off: 3.00pm

Step 3 v Step 5

Banbury United captain Ricky Johnson has given his thoughts ahead of todays FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round fixture versus Thatcham Town at The Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.

When discussing the opportunities to progress in the competition Ricky gave us his thoughts

With the greatest of respect the draw couldn’t of gone any better for us. At home against a team in a lower division. Doesn’t mean its going to be easy for one minute, its 11 players against 11, but if we approach the game with the right attitude and commitment we will have a great chance of progressing in he competition

After a slight set back in the past seven days, today’s cup tie gives slight respite from the league campaign

Without doubt, we couldn’t of asked for a better game to get back on track. Most people within the ground today will expect us to win the game so that can bring its own pressure that we have to deal with.

Johnson will have eyes on progress today

Always difficult to play against teams from a different league to you, and the potential banana skin when they are lower level so how do clubs prepare for these games

We approach each game as it comes up, so we talked about them on Thursday and worked on how they might play and set up against us. We have also watched video highlights of their previous games so we are completely prepared for what we are facing today. However they will be looking to progress in the cup and will have a spring in their step as we did against Wealdstone last season, and took it to the final kick of the game. The longer the game goes on the more confidence they will get and the game will become harder, so it is important we get off to a good start.

With a win today the possibilities from here of a cup run against some notable names must be on the players minds

As i said everyone will expect us to win the game, but we know football doesn’t work like that, if we play to our level and do things right then hopefully we will be in the draw on Monday. If thats the case then the teams left will probably be at out level or above, so just a home draw would be what we are looking for.

Sports Shots would like to offer a huge thanks to Ricky for his time with us today.


FA Cup 2QR Banbury Utd striker Howards shares cup dream

Saturday 16th September 2017

Banbury United v Thatcham Town

FA Cup Second Qualifying Round

Kick-Off: 3.00pm

Step 3 v Step 5

Banbury United host Thatcham Town on Saturday at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, with neither side needing to be reminded of the potential opportunities a win would present. A sizeable amount of reward in financial terms, as well as the opportunity to progress to play a higher-level side and possibly only ninety minutes away from facing National League level sides.

Thatcham have already overcome three ties to get this far in the oldest cup competition in the world, and have won two of those away from home. Currently sitting fourth in the Hellenic League Premier table they have won six of their seven league games to date in a fiercely competitive division, and their only defeat was at Wantage who were relegated to the Hellenic from the Southern League last season, and Town played seventy-two minutes of that game with ten men!

The Kingfishers have scored fourteen goals in their seven league games and conceded just four, and with the cup games included have scored twenty-six goals and conceded just 5, all in just ten games so far, and it took until the seventh game of their season to concede a goal. Leading scorer for the visitors is Shane Cooper-Clark with ten goals in ten games, with Joe Blount & Josh Helmore both chipping in with four apiece. Certainly a side with confidence going into the game.

However Banbury will be looking to get their explosive start to the season back on track, after two defeats inside the last seven days somewhat derailed their excellent start to the campaign. Five league wins on the bounce followed by progress in the FA Cup two weeks ago made great reading for the Puritans, however two home league games since then have seen two defeats so this FA Cup tie will be viewed as a chance to get things back on track.

Prior to last week-end the home side had scored twenty-two goals and conceded just five in six games but last Saturday & Tuesday United conceded a total of seven goals with four in reply. Those two defeats saw them slip from top place down to seventh albeit just three points off the summit. A fascinating tie lies ahead, both sides can score goals and although it is a game of higher level at home versus two levels lower away, the FA Cup is always a great leveller, and Thatcham will feel it’s a good time to face Banbury.

Sports Shots caught up with striker Leam Howards ahead of the game:

Howards fighting to progress in cup

Reflecting on how big a game the tie is for United Howards admitted

Yes it’s a massive game for us, it would be fantastic to progress to the next round, the FA Cup is the best cup competition in the world in my eyes

After a difficult week for the team who have hit the buffers after such a fantastic start to the campaign, Leam admitted tomorrow is a chance to get back on another run

We seem to have lost focus over the past couple of home games, but we are all determined to get over this and get a big confidence boost by winning tomorrow

And like all players playing in Saturday’s cup ties, Howards admits the dream is to get as far as he can

How far can we go? What a fantastic question, we all dream of going all the way however unrealistic it is, but it would be fantastic to get the chance to play a league team and you never know maybe even get on the telly

Huge thanks to Leam Howards for taking time out to speak exclusively to Sports Shots.


How to find the ground:



Banbury United begin season at home to Dorchester


Banbury United begin their league campaign tomorrow when they host Dorchester Town.

Taken from the Banbury United website:

United begin the new season with a game at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium against Dorchester Town tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) 3.00pm

It has been a difficult last three seasons for Dorchester following their relegation from Conference South where they had spent the previous ten seasons. Last season they flirted with relegation but managed in the end to survive, finishing just a point above relegated Cambridge City.

Last season we lost to our visitors here early in the season, that was in the middle of our longest losing league run of four games that we had all season. However, just two weeks later we were back on track, winning convincingly down in Dorset in an FA Cup First Qualifying Round game and then won again there in the league in January.

Dorchester have a mix of a few experienced players and youngsters. Goalkeeper Chris Weale has over 250 Football League appearances behind him but a number of the side are stepping up in levels, having arrived in the summer from Portland United who won the Wessex League Championship last season.

As for United, they go into the game after an overall successful pre-season with six wins of out seven, including two wins over higher level sides. It is a mixture of some new players aiming to improve the squad with the nucleus of last season’s successful side. Latest squad news is that striker Damien Robertson who has scored over 100 goals from around 50 games for local side Chasewell Park over the course of the last two seasons signed Southern League forms last night. However, contrary to what supporters may have assumed from a piece in the Banbury Guardian, Darius Browne has not re-signed for the club.

You will notice a number of improvements at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium over the summer. A flattening out of the Town End Car Park, a repainting and refurbishing of the entrance at that end to create a good first impression, an enlarged media area in the stand, a video tower put up (New York’s “Trump Tower” now has a rival in “Shadder’s Tower”!), a refurbished Town End Tea Bar, new professional looking dug-outs and much general painting and tidying up. And the pitch is looking great, thanks to the groundstaff. The club are grateful to all the club volunteers who have spent time this summer on all this work.

Repair work on the riverside terrace has though been delayed due to the heavy rain this week. So there is a small area over by the video tower that supporters should be advised to take some caution when in that area

Tomorrow’s match is sponsored by L Jarvis & Sons Limited. Banbury United are grateful for their support.

The Brighton v Manchester City game on BT Sport will certainly be shown on TVs and also on a big screen (if there are no technical problems with the first use of the screen) in the Clubhouse after the game – so no need to rush away, why not stay behind and watch the game down at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium!

Away supporters are advised to use OX16 5AB for their Sat-Nav as the club’s official postcode may well take you elsewhere!

Admission Prices: Adults £10, Concessions (Over 60s and Full Time Students) £6, Under 16s £1.

Programme: £2.

Kick-off 3.00pm

Free to sit in the stand

Hot Food available in the Clubhouse.

Free parking

Banbury United 2-1 Mangotsfield United

Banbury United – 2

Mangotsfield United – 1

Banbury United completed their pre-season schedule with victory over Mangotsfield United on Saturday afternoon at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium, although the margin of victory did not really reflect the chances created. Tom Winters on the Banbury left in particular delivered some enticing crosses during the game that on another day would have produced many more goals and surely will this season give some Southern League defences some headaches to deal with.

The opening moments of the match were rather tepid as neither side really got going, and it took until the seventh minute for the first shot at goal, Ravi Shamsi intercepted a poor Mangotsfield pass in midfield and burst forward before firing wide of Ashley Newman’s left hand post. James Fisher then got in down the right channel at the other end but again the shot was wide of goal. Winters provided a cross just before the quarter hour mark and Shamsi got a shot away that was brilliantly blocked by Mangotsfield defender George Nash sliding in, with the ball stunned by the block Newman had time to gather the ball and the chance was gone.

Banbury were then awarded a free kick on the eighteen yard line almost centre of goal, but Jefferson Louis could only find the waiting arms of Newman, before he and Winters exchanged passes on the right and again the front man’s shot found Newman’s gloves. A Mangotsfield cross was then headed clear and from distance Darren Edwards hit the loose ball on the volley but well wide of Jack Harding in the Banbury goal.

The home side finally took the lead on the half hour, a poor back pass from the visiting defence allowed Louis to nip in, advance forward and slot past Newman with ease.

Louis opens the scoring

The away side tried to respond to the goal and a low hard drive from George Lloyd fizzed across goal but wide of Harding’s back post, but yet another teasing cross from Winter’s at the other end saw Louis head over under heavy pressure from a defender.

Six minutes before the interval the home side doubled their lead when Shamsi received the ball just inside the box and composed himself before stroking into the bottom corner. Mangotsfield were given a lifeline on the stroke of half time when a tug of shirts saw the referee point to the penalty spot, Lewis Hogg took on the responsibility but Jack Harding dived to his right and made the save to ensure his half-time clean sheet. H/T: 2-0

Jack Harding saves penalty

Early in the second half another Winter’s cross found Louis who up against Jack Harris saw the ball rebound of each other and at one point looked to be going in before rolling harmlessly away for a goal kick. Banbury defender Ricky Johnson then had to execute an inch perfect tackle inside his own box to prevent Mangotsfield substitute Sam Jenkins from shooting from close range, and Jenkins shortly after fired a shot straight into Harding’s gloves from distance.

A host of substitutions from both sides then disrupted proceedings, with players looking to settle into position and trying to impress their onlooking managers. Banbury’s Sam Humphreys was fed in to the right of goal, and he clipped his shot at goal despite being off balance his shot came back off the post and was cleared to safety.

Seconds later another Winter’s cross invited Conor McDonagh to throw himself at the ball in front of goal but there was just too much on the cross and the ball was gone. Some good football saw Leam Howards and Tom Winters combine to set up Humphreys inside the box but he could only steer wide.

Seventy seven minutes saw Mangotsfield get themselves a goal back when Darren Edwards fired home. Receiving the ball some twenty yards from goal he was allowed time to stroke across goal and into the bottom corner.

Few chances were created as the game drifted to a finish, although a late cross from Winter curled in and caught Newman in no man’s land but to his relief the ball grazed off the crossbar and the resulting shot from McDonagh was blocked and cleared. F/T: 2-1

Attendance: 189

After the game, Sports Shots caught up with Banbury manager Mike Ford: 

For match photography, click here:


Announcement: Sports Shots portfolio increasing

Sports Shots are delighted to announce that we have agreed to cover some new clubs from around our area with immediate effect.

With the new season looming, we are adding the following clubs to our list:

Aylesbury FC – Evo-Stick Southern League Division One East, managed by Davis Haule, finished last season in 19th position.

Aylesbury United – Evo-Stick Southern League Division One East, managed by Glyn Creaser, finished last season in 13th position.

Banbury United – Evo-Stick Southern League Premier Division, managed by Mike Ford, finished last season in 6th position.

Brackley Town Saints – Hellenic League Premier Division, managed by Gordon Kille, finished last season in thirteenth position.

Leighton Town – South Midlands Premier Division, managed by Scott Reynolds, finished last season in sixteenth position.

Newport Pagnell Town – United Counties League Premier Division, managed by Darren Lynch, finished last season in tenth position.

Olney Town – United Counties League Division One, managed by Neil Griffiths, finished last season in fourth position.

We look forward to working closely with these, and all our existing clubs over the coming months.