Tiverton Town – 2
Banbury United – 2
Banbury United survived a second half onslaught on Saturday at Tiverton to earn the right to replay this FA Trophy first qualifying round tie, despite looking odds on at half time to progress after taking a two goal lead and looking comfortable with it, their hosts scored two quick goals at the start of the second half and as the wind picked up so did the tempo as Town sensed they could win the game but United defended well and now face a replay on Tuesday at The Community Hire Stadium.
The opening moments were rather devoid of any real goal attempts, Banbury saw some good movement down their left to release Matt Peake-Pijnen but his cross was comfortable for Martin Rice in the home goal to gather, and a Tiverton corner saw a mass of bodies fighting for a touch but a good strong hand from United keeper Jack Harding saw him push the ball away and a lunging boot from a team mate cleared any possible danger.
The visitor’s then took the lead on fifteen minutes from a simple throw in routine, Peake-Pijnen took the throw out on the left to Ravi Shamsi on the corner of the box, he allowed the ball to roll across his body before turning and firing inside the near post.
Tiverton rallied after the goal and a good save from Harding and a desperate block from skipper Luke Carnell kept them at bay, before a free kick awarded on the edge of the Banbury box saw Owen Howe thump at goal and again Harding got down well to his left to save two-handed. Nick Hurst then got away down the right for the home side and fizzed the ball across the goal mouth but no fellow team mates were anywhere near getting to the ball before it rolled harmlessly away for a goal kick.
A hefty challenge on Peake-Pijnen on twenty-eight minutes saw him have to be taken off and replaced by Tom Winters. Some sections of the home crowd seemed to think the challenge was worthy of more than a yellow card, but a caution was all that was given, and Tiverton went on to enjoy some possession of the ball; a right wing cross found captain Jamie Price in the middle and he swivelled to shoot but didn’t connect properly and screwed his effort wide.
Price then hurt himself stretching for a ball and ended up having lengthy treatment on the pitch before being stretchered off. Further punishment was inflicted three minutes into added time when Banbury doubled their lead, a ball into the Town area seemed to be fairly safe but as substitute James Richards looked set to deal with the threat he stumbled and allowed Shamsi to collect the ball, draw out the keeper before crossing to Jefferson Louis who got ahead of Tom Gardner to slot home. H/T: 0-2
Eight minutes after the break a right wing cross from Charlie Hawtin was met by the head of Louis who headed home, but the goal was disallowed by the referee despite the Banbury striker taking a boot to the face and having to go off for treatment for a bloodied nose and swollen eye, and eventually had to be replaced by Conor McDonagh.
Moments later a Tiverton free kick was struck goalwards by Ollie Knowles, as the ball deflected off the Banbury wall inside the area a huge appeal for handball went up but the referee waved play on. But on the hour mark another free kick to the home side again went into the Banbury wall, as the player struck by the ball went down the whistle sounded and a penalty was awarded, much to the amazement of the home crowd. Howe didn’t hesitate to take the spot kick, and sent Harding the wrong way. Tiverton now had their tails up!
Four minutes later the tie was all square, and the goal of the game was initiated by Knowles who produced a perfectly weighted ball down the right wing for Jamie Short to chase after, he crossed and running in Callum Hall flashed the ball past Harding giving the United keeper absolutely no chance.
The home side were now sensing the win, and almost snatched a third when Nick Hurst did well to get to the byline and cross, sliding in at the back post Tom Bath was inches away from connecting, soon followed by Knowles who tried his luck from twenty-five yards but angled his drive wide, and Howe collecting the ball out on the right cut across the Banbury eighteen yard line before unleashing a fierce drive that swooped over the crossbar.
Despite their pressure Tiverton almost orchestrated their own downfall when a throw in deep in their own half went completely wrong and set in McDonagh with a one on one with Rice, but the keeper saved well and gathered the rebound to save his team mates blushes. A Harding goal kick then saw substitute Ricky Johnson flick on and again McDonagh in behind the Town defence, as the keeper advanced he fired across goal and agonisingly just wide of the back post. F/T: 2-2
After the game Sports Shots caught up with Banbury manager Mike Ford:
For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskw6Hen2