Archive for Banbury United Football Club

FA Cup Second Qualifying Round Draw

The draw for the second qualifying round of this seasons FA Cup has taken place today, and see’s Banbury United face a very difficult home tie with National League South side Bath City if they overcome their replay with Weymouth on Tuesday evening, whilst if Aylesbury United win their replay at Marlow they then face a trip to either Kempston Rovers or Chalfont St Peter who also have a replay to decide who goes through.

The draw in full:


1 Chester v City of Liverpool

2 Ashton United v Trafford

3 Radcliffe v Curzon Ashton

4 Farsley Celtic v Southport

5 Mossley v Kidsgrove Athletic

6 Staveley MW v Guiseley

7 South Shields v Stockport County

8 Knaresborough Town v Newcastle Benfield or Workington

9 Cleethorpes Town v Bamber Bridge

10 York City v Ashton Athletic or Morpeth Town

11 Marine or Scarborough Athletic v Frickley Athletic

12 Dunston UTS v Irlam

13 FC United of Manchester v Colne

14 Nantwich Town v Blyth Spartans

15 Darlington v Bradford (Park Avenue)

16 Chorley v Parkgate or Leek Town

17 Witton Albion v Spennymoor Town

18 Altrincham v Whitley Bay

19 Consett v Warrington Town

20 Sutton Coldfield Town or Rushall Olympic v Alfreton Town

21 Boston United v Peterborough Sports

22 Saffron Walden Town or St Ives Town v Grantham Town

23 Kidderminster Harriers v Atherstone Town

24 Stourbridge v Leamington

25 Rugby Town v Hednesford Town

26 St Neots Town v Romulus

27 Nuneaton Borough v Brackley Town

28 Alvechurch v Corby Town

29 Kettering Town v AFC Mansfield

30 Anstey Nomads v Mickleover Sports

31 Halesowen Town v Chasetown or Gainsborough Trinity

32 King’s Lynn Town or Histon v Stafford Rangers

33 AFC Telford United v Bedford Town

34 Buxton v Coalville Town

35 Hampton & Richmond Borough v Burgess Hill Town

36 Northwood or Kings Langley v Farnborough or Lewes

37 Wealdstone v Great Wakering Rovers

38 Welling United v Chesham United

39 Hendon or Harlow Town v Phoenix Sports or Lancing

40 Woking v Tooting & Mitcham United

41 Hanwell Town v Lowestoft Town

42 Egham Town v Brightlingsea Regent

43 Chelmsford City v Worthing

44 Concord Rangers v Margate

45 Leverstock Green or Hadley v Dorking Wanderers

46 Haringey Borough v Erith Town

47 Cheshunt or Leiston v Hastings United

48 Coggeshall Town or Berkhamsted v Beckenham Town or Walton Casuals

49 St Albans City v Corinthian Casuals or Whyteleafe

50 Bowers & Pitsea v Hemel Hempstead Town

51 Billericay Town v Burnham

52 Chalfont St Peter or Kempston Rovers v Aylesbury United or Marlow

53 Hitchin Town v Didcot Town

54 Bognor Regis Town v AFC Sudbury

55 Haverhill Rovers or Long Melford v Leatherhead

56 East Thurrock United v Whitehawk

57 Brantham Athletic v Eastbourne Borough

58 Oxford City v Merstham or Cray Valley (PM)

59 Gosport Borough v Ramsgate or Sevenoaks Town

60 AFC Hornchurch v East Grinstead Town

61 AFC Uckfield Town v Dartford

62 Hayes & Yeading United v Moneyfields

63 FC Romania v Beaconsfield Town

64 Corinthian or Horsham v Heybridge Swifts

65 Dulwich Hamlet v Tonbridge Angels

66 Metropolitan Police v Needham Market

67 Merthyr Town v Frome Town or Winchester City

68 Lymington Town or Lydney Town v Torquay United

69 Chippenham Town v Swindon Supermarine

70 Bristol Manor Farm v Paulton Rovers or Basingstoke Town

71 Gloucester City v Plymouth Parkway or Street

72 Weston Super Mare v Salisbury or Yate Town

73 Tiverton Town v Wimborne Town or Dorchester Town

74 Hereford v Truro City

75 Poole Town v Cinderford Town

76 Taunton Town v Bitton

77 Weymouth or Banbury United v Bath City

78 Hungerford Town v Wantage Town

79 Binfield v Cirencester Town

80 Slough Town v Sholing or Hamworthy United

MATCH DATES All ties must be played on Saturday 22 September 2018, kick-off 3.00pm with replays on or before Thursday 27 September, kick-off 7.45pm.

SLP; Jack is very Self confident that Banbury are United in search for success

Saturday 1st September 2018

Hitchin Town v Banbury United

Southern League Premier Division

Fishponds Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Eighth place Banbury United travel to third bottom Hitchin Town on Saturday looking to continue their unbeaten start to their Southern Football League Premier Division Central campaign. United have two wins and two draws from their opening four games, whilst Town have one win, one draw and three defeats in five games to date, so Banbury will be looking to keep their morale high as they going into two cup matches in the next week.

Jack Self

This week Sports Shots caught up with Puritan midfielder Jack Self to ask just how good a start to the season it’s been:

It’s been important to get some early points on the board and I think as a group we’re actually a little disappointed we are not in double figures already. This league is very much unknown territory so to be unbeaten in the first four games gives us a platform from which we as a group can push on from

Are there any differences in the types of teams Banbury are playing yet?

The teams that we’ve played have offered very similar styles of play to each other over the first few games. Compared to last year, the opponents have played with a more direct style of play but for many in the squad it’s nothing new to face and we hold no fear

So how have all the new faces in the squad settled in so far?

I think they’ve settled in well, we’ve got some good quality players with plenty of higher level games under their belts and that experience will help the younger lads in the squad for definite

So how have the squad prepared for Saturday’s game?

We’ve had a few days to digest Monday’s performance and get it out of our system before planning for Hitchin in training, against a side we’ve had our ups and downs against in the past few seasons. They’ll want to get us back for our double over them last year, however we will be well equipped and going there with a plan to get the three points

We asked Jack what his own personal targets are for this season:

I always want to improve, I scored seven goals last year and received an award from the gaffer in recognition of my performances, so I’ll be aiming to emulate that with double figures and hopefully another award come the end of the season

How well does Jack see Banbury doing this season in their new division?

This part of the season is about accumulating as many points as possible, these points are just as valuable as those we gain later on in the season, but the fixture list can ultimately change almost instantly and all of a sudden your next three games are against sides who could be building some real momentum, so we will aim to win every game and will be realistic throughout, but there is no reason why we can’t finish in the upper echelons of the table

How does Jack travel to away games?

We are very fortunate at Banbury United to have great people working, volunteering and devoting their time & efforts into the club. Those great people provide us with a coach to every away game, so all the lads share plenty of laughs & time together travelling the roads

Finally, we asked Jack if there were any games in particular he was looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to the FA Cup game at Weymouth next week, it’s a special competition and it would be great to go deeper into the qualification stages and maybe even reach the first round proper!

Sports Shots would like to thank Jack for his time this week

FA CUP 1st qualifying round draw made

The first qualifying round of the FA Cup has been drawn today, and those sides covered by Sports Shots who are still in the competition have been given the following draws:

Brackley Town Saints have a tough away replay at Hadley (0-0 in first game on Monday) and should they progress they then travel to Leverstock Green

Aylesbury United host Marlow

Aylesbury FC host Didcot next Tuesday in their replay (1-1 in first game on Saturday) and should they progress they then travel to Wingate & Finchley

Weymouth v Banbury


The draw in full:


1 Radcliffe v Stalybridge Celtic

2 Droylsden or Squires Gate v City of Liverpool or Glossop North End

3 Lancaster City v Trafford

4 South Shields v Garforth Town

5 Warrington Town v Burscough

6 Runcorn Town v Irlam

7 Whitley Bay v Whitby Town

8 Marine v Scarborough Athletic

9 Colne v Hyde United

10 Newcastle Benfield v Workington

11 Dunston UTS v North Ferriby United

12 Knaresborough Town v Kendal Town or Selby Town

13 Atherton Collieries v Kidsgrove Athletic or Ramsbottom United

14 Albion Sports or Guisborough Town v Farsley Celtic

15 Congleton Town v Consett

16 Witton Albion v Bottesford Town

17 Clitheroe or Sunderland RCA v Ossett United or Mossley

18 Ashton Athletic v Morpeth Town

19 Maltby Main v Frickley Athletic

20 Parkgate v Litherland Remyca or Leek Town

21 Bamber Bridge v Tadcaster Albion

22 Basford United v Staveley MW

23 Highgate United v Stourbridge

24 Loughborough University v Walsall Wood or Cleethorpes Town

25 AFC Mansfield v Stourport Swifts

26 Romulus v Belper Town

27 Nantwich Town v Worksop Town

28 Sutton Coldfield Town v Rushall Olympic

29 Quorn v Atherstone Town

30 Coalville Town v Racing Club Warwick

31 Hednesford Town v Tamworth

32 Grimsby Borough v Stafford Rangers

33 Matlock Town v Halesowen Town

34 Barwell v Buxton

35 Daventry Town v Grantham Town

36 Mickleover Sports v Haughmond or Market Drayton Town

37 Anstey Nomads v Oadby Town

38 Wednesfield or Chasetown v Gainsborough Trinity

39 Redditch United v Rugby Town

40 Stratford Town v Alvechurch

41 Leverstock Green v Brackley Town Saints or Hadley

42 St Neots Town v Bishop’s Stortford

43 Burnham v Bury Town

44 Cambridge City v Brightlingsea Regent

45 Aylesbury United v Marlow

46 Heybridge Swifts v Newmarket Town

47 Hanwell Town v Potters Bar Town

48 Brantham Athletic v Spalding United

49 Corby Town or Dunstable Town v Hertford Town

50 AFC Sudbury v Royston Town

51 Ware v Lowestoft Town

52 Hendon v Harlow Town

53 Brentwood Town v Haringey Borough or Sporting Bengal United

54 Haverhill Rovers v Long Melford

55 AFC Hornchurch v Harrow Borough

56 AFC Dunstable v Woodbridge Town or Swindon Supermarine

57 FC Romania v Biggleswade or Soham Town Rangers

58 Chesham United v Biggleswade Town

59 Chalfont St Peter v Kempston Rovers

60 Great Wakering Rovers v Northampton Sileby Rangers or Wisbech Town

61 Romford v Kettering Town

62 King’s Lynn Town v Histon or Eynesbury Rovers

63 Hayes & Yeading United v Deeping Rangers or AFC Rushden & Diamonds

64 Northwood v Kings Langley

65 Coggeshall Town or Witham Town v Berkhamsted

66 Saffron Walden Town v St Ives Town

67 Walthamstow v Beaconsfield Town

68 Wingate & Finchley v Didcot Town or Aylesbury

69 Cheshunt v Leiston

70 Hitchin Town v Godmanchester Rovers

71 Bowers & Pitsea v Takeley

72 Basildon United v Stamford or Peterborough Sports

73 Barton Rovers v Needham Market

74 Enfield Town v Bedford Town

75 Ramsgate v Sevenoaks Town

76 Hastings United v Kingstonian

77 Metropolitan Police v Cray Wanderers or Rusthall

78 Faversham Town v Worthing

79 Farnborough v Molesey or Lewes

80 AFC Uckfield Town v AFC Croydon Athletic or Hanworth Villa

81 Fleet Town v East Grinstead Town

82 Phoenix Sports v Lancing

83 Merstham v Cray Valley (PM)

84 Raynes Park Vale v Loxwood or Erith Town or Spelthorne Sports

85 Hythe Town v Tonbridge Angels

86 Egham Town v Staines Town

87 Corinthian Casuals v Whyteleafe or Saltdean United

88 Margate v Horndean

89 Moneyfields v Thamesmead Town

90 Whitstable Town v Bognor Regis Town

91 Horsham YMCA v Tooting & Mitcham United

92 Corinthian v Horsham

93 Pagham v Whitehawk

94 Leatherhead v Herne Bay

95 Beckenham Town or Epsom & Ewell v Walton Casuals

96 Burgess Hill Town v Folkestone Invicta

97 Dorking Wanderers v Hartley Wintney

98 Sittingbourne v Gosport Borough

99 Weymouth v Banbury United

100 Melksham Town v Merthyr Town

101 Bitton v Westbury United

102 AFC Stoneham v Cirencester Town

103 Salisbury v Yate Town

104 Bodmin Town or Cadbury Heath v Cinderford Town

105 Binfield v Buckland Athletic

106 Frome Town v Winchester City

107 Wimborne Town v Dorchester Town

108 Shaftesbury v Poole Town

109 Sholing v Hamworthy United

110 Plymouth Parkway v Street

111 Taunton Town v Thatcham Town or Bemerton Heath Harlequins

112 Paulton Rovers v Basingstoke Town

113 Bridport v Tiverton Town

114 Bishop’s Cleeve v Slimbridge or Wantage Town

115 Chipping Sodbury Town v Bideford or Bristol Manor Farm

116 Lymington Town v Royal Wootton Bassett Town or Lydney Town


All ties must be played on Saturday 8 September 2018, kick-off 3.00pm with replays on or before Thursday 13 September, kick-off 7.45pm.

SLP; Rushall Olympic v Banbury United match preview with summer signing Steve Diggin

Saturday 11th August 2018

Rushall Olympic v Banbury United

Southern League Premier Division Central

Dales Lane

K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury open their season in their new division this Saturday with a fifty-nine mile trip to Rushall Olympic, just to the north-east of Walsall, at a club who find themselves in a similar position to their guests in that they were transferred divisions during the summer as a result of the FA restructuring of the non-league pyramid.

Whilst Banbury were side shifted divisions in the same league from the Southern League Premier Division South to Central, Olympic have moved leagues from the Northern League Premier Division to join the Southern League. At least a fair start for both sides as neither will know much about the other!

A good pre-season campaign for Banbury will see the squad in good spirits going into the game, just the one defeat listed in their seven fixtures but a much changed squad will don the gold n red kit this week-end, including summer signing Steve Diggin who joined from local rivals Banbury United.

Diggin finished his career at Brackley in May by scoring a penalty in the FA Trophy Final penalty shoot-out win over Bromley at Wembley, and this week Sports Shots caught up with the front man to ask how life has been since joining the Puritans:

It’s been good so far, I’ve really enjoyed it and we’ve obviously been working hard but that’s been enjoyable so I feel I’ve managed to settle in quite well

We asked if the Wembley experience back in May will help him with playing at Banbury:

Yes that was basically the perfect way to leave Brackley really, an unreal experience that I will never ever forget but it’s a new season now and I will be 100% concentrating on doing well for Banbury United

We asked how pre-season has been around the club:

Our pre-season has been really good, while we work hard we have a laugh at the same time, but there seems to be a good feeling around the place

Are the squad ready for the new campaign?

Yes the start of another long season but we are ready, like I said earlier we’ve all worked really hard and it all leads up to this Saturday, so we’re definitely up for it and hoping to get off to a winning start

Are there any season targets for the striker?

Hmm, as a striker our targets are obviously goals so I’ll hopefully be going for at least 20 goals this season, and as a team we are hoping for at least the play-offs

And finally, what do the squad know about Rushall?

To be honest at the minute not too much, but we still have a training session before the game to work on stuff and I’m sure we’ve had them watched. I’m sure we’ll be given some info ahead of the game.

Sports Shots would like to thank Steve for his time this week.

Southern League fixtures announced

The Southern Football League announced the 2018/19 fixtures on Thursday, and for our three local clubs the wait is finally over as they discover their fixture list in their reshuffled leagues.

Banbury United:

Banbury start their season in a new division with a trip to Walsall to face Rushall Olympic who themselves were playing Northern League football until the FA restructuring, before their first home match brings Halesowen Town to the Community Stadium, another side playing Northern Premier football last season.

Sat 11th Aug Rushall Olympic v Banbury 3pm

Tue 14th Aug: Banbury v Halesowen Town 7.45pm

Sat 18th Aug: Banbury v Leiston 3pm

To view Banbury United fixtures for 2018/19 month by month use this link:

Aylesbury FC:

Aylesbury face a tricky start with a trip into the unknown as they travel to Warwickshire to face Coleshill Town who finished runners-up in the Midland League last season to earn promotion to the Southern League, before a home game against last years beaten play-off semi-finalists AFC Dunstable.

Sat 18th Aug: Coleshill Town v Aylesbury 3pm

Tue 21st Aug: Aylesbury v AFC Dunstable 7.45pm

Mon 27th Aug: Berkhamsted v Aylesbury 3pm

To view Aylesbury FC fixtures for 2018/19 month by month use this link:

Aylesbury United:

United open at home to Bedfordshire side Kempston Rovers who did the double over the Ducks last season, before a trip to Didcot Town who have been transferred over from the Southern League Division One West Division, and finished sixth last season.

Sat 18th Aug: Aylesbury United v Kempston Rovers 3pm

Tue 21st Aug: Didcot Town v Aylesbury United 7.45pm

Mon 27th Aug: Aylesbury United v Thame United 3pm

To view Aylesbury United fixtures for 2018/19 month by month use this link:


Saturday 25th August is FA Cup week-end, to revisit the fixtures follow this link:

SL; Banbury Utd appeal rejected & Carnell moves on

Back in June when the FA released their allocations for the restructured non-league pyramid, Banbury United were placed in the Southern League South division, but then on 8th June it was announced due to Shaw Lane folding and the leagues having to restructure again, Banbury had been laterally moved to the South League central division.

The club immediately announced it’s plan to appeal the decision, and that appeal was heard on Monday where it was confirmed that United would indeed be playing in the Central division for the forthcoming season.

The club released the following statement:

The Board of Directors is disappointed by the outcome of yesterday’s (Monday 2nd July) FA appeal hearing relating to the lateral movement of the club’s league allocation for 2018-19 on 8th June.

Our appeal was not motivated by being placed in the Southern League Premier Central Division, but the timing of the decision.

The FA Appeal Panel judged that the original decision of the FA Leagues Management Committee (LMC) was reasonable.

We had argued, as did the other affected clubs, Hednesford and Fleet, that the decision was not reasonable given the late notification of the change. This has seriously impacted our planning for the 2018-19 season and meant that that we were not being treated equably compared to other unaffected teams. We gave detailed information relating to this.

We argued that the impact of the demise of Shaw Lane could have been managed in other ways, including within the Northern Premier Division and its feeder leagues. The confirmation of league line ups comes far later than the relevant league AGMs, something which the FA strive to achieve.

We also showed that there was a lack of clarity relating to the regulations which govern the lateral movement of clubs and that the FA LMC had not actually applied one of the regulations. In terms of governance it is difficult to understand how decisions can be made when the relevant regulations are not actually followed.

The matter is now closed. The club is fully focused on planning to compete in the Southern League Premier Division Central Division for the 2018-19 season

Within hours of the announcement the club then revealed that defender Luke Carnell is to leave the club due to the travelling involved with their placement in the central division.

As a result of yesterday’s FA ruling in respect of our league allocation for 2018-19, Luke Carnell has advised Mike Ford he is leaving the club.

Luke joined Banbury in October 2016 and made 87 appearances and scored 17 goals in his time at the club. He won the Supporters’ Players of the Season, the Players’ Player and the Puritans Radio Player awards last season.

However, living in Didcot, he has decided, for family and work reasons, the travel commitment for matches is too great in the Central Division.

Commenting on the news manager Mike Ford said “I am very disappointed to lose Luke who has been excellent for the club since joining us a couple of months into our first season back at Premier Division level. His commitment has been outstanding and wherever he plays next season, they will be getting a great addition to their team. I fully understand Luke’s reasons for leaving and can only wish him all the best in the future.”

Luke commenting on his decision said “Following yesterday’s failed appeal, having already agreed terms with Mike over the summer to remain a Banbury player, presuming we were in the Southern Premier South, I’ve had to make the hardest decision to leave a club I’ve loved playing for and had a fantastic time at. With the extra travelling from Didcot and the fact my wife and I are expecting our first child in October, I just felt I couldn’t commit to play at Banbury. I’d like to thank everyone at Banbury United from Mike and his staff, the players, all the board members and the fans for all the support they’ve given me and the team during my time at the club. It was everything I was promised when I agreed to sign and more. I’d like to wish you all the best for the season and hope the club goes on to get that desired and deserved promotion.”

We thank Luke for his contributions and commitment during his time with the club and wish him every success in the future.

Luke Carnell

To see the clubs Banbury now face this season follow this link:

SL; Banbury United lateral movement revealed

Banbury United revealed late on Friday evening that they have been laterally moved from the Southern League Southern to the Southern League Central Division; the knock on effect after clubs had to be shuffled around as Shaw Lane FC announced they were folding.

Taken from the Banbury United website:

United have been advised of a change of league allocation for 2018-19

The FA were notified today by Shaw Lane AFC that they are to withdraw from the Northern Premier League’s Premier Division.

As a result, the FA have written to the club this evening to advise that the following will apply:

* Wimborne Town are to fill the vacancy at Step 3 and will be placed in the Southern League South

* Banbury United will be laterally moved to the Southern League Central

* Hednesford Town will be laterally moved to the Northern Premier League

* FC Romania are promoted to Step 4

* Fleet Town are to be laterally moved to the Southern League West


Below are the original divisions listed back in May:

Step 3- Southern League Central 
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Bedworth United
Biggleswade Town
Coalville Town
Halesowen Town
Hednesford Town
Hitchin Town
Kettering Town
King’s Lynn Town
Lowestoft Town
Needham Market
Redditch United
Royston Town
Rushall Olympic
St Ives Town
St Neots Town
Stratford Town

Step 3 – Southern League South
Banbury United (now moved to the Central division)
Basingstoke Town
Beaconsfield Town
Chesham United
Dorchester Town
Frome Town
Gosport Borough
Harrow Borough
Hartley Wintney
Kings Langley
Merthyr Town
Metropolitan Police
Poole Town
Staines Town
Swindon Supermarine
Taunton Town
Tiverton Town
Walton Casuals

Banbury have said their board will consider the matter.

For the Shaw Lane AFC statement click here:

SLP; Banbury United 3-3 Merthyr Town

Banbury United – 3

Merthyr Town – 3

Banbury United conceded late in the game to end their 2017/18 home campaign with a draw against a spirited Merthyr side on Saturday. The visitors led at half-time thanks to an Ian Traylor penalty but fell behind early in the second half thanks to an inspired half-time substitution by Puritans boss Mike Ford, bringing on Leam Howards who bagged himself a brace to give the hosts the lead. However, they were pegged back when The Martyrs levelled but took just sixty seconds to regain their lead through Elliot Sandy, a goal which looked like winning them the game, but Town struck in the ninetieth minute to take a point back to Wales.

The first forty-five minutes gave no indication of what lay ahead for the spectators, neither side really testing either keeper, and a flurry of offside flags and over hit passes made poor viewing for those baking in the warm sunshine. A second minute effort from Owain Jones thumped past United keeper Jack Harding’s left hand post, whilst at the opposite end a through ball looked to have set Sandy in on goal but Merthyr’s teenage keeper Ed Hewitson was off his line in a flash to smother.

From the goal kick Jones got in behind the Banbury backline and got his shot away from twelve yards which Harding did well getting down to block, however the raised flag on the far side would have interrupted any goal celebration had he scored. Jones then played a great one-two with Corey Jenkins on the edge of the United box, but could only drag his shot wide. Just past the quarter hour mark Banbury broke at pace down their left through Sam Humphreys who cut in towards goal, his low drive cleared to the edge of the box where Jack Self fired low between a mass of bodies but a slight deflection took the ball out for a corner.

Traylor scores from spot

Kerry Morgan then found some space some twenty yards out, flicking the ball up he hit it on the volley and it was heading top corner until Harding threw himself backwards to push away one handed, before anyone could react the flag was raised for an offside. Then on thirty-eight minutes the away side were awarded a penalty, Jones out on the left wing took on Charlie Wise and tried to drag the ball back across the defender, a lucky deflection off his boot saw the Merthyr front man nip around Wise and head for the penalty area, as the Banbury man tried to shield the ball out for a goal kick the two collided & Jones went down, and to his shock the referee pointed to the spot. Traylor took the penalty and gave Harding no chance what so ever, firing onto the corner. H/T: 0-1

Howards was introduced as the sides kicked off for the second period, and it took just five minutes for him to equalise. A huge goal kick from Harding bounced away for Self to chase after, as Hewitson came out the ball was cut back across goal by the United man which left the two central defenders chasing back flat footed, inbetween them Howards back heeled the ball towards goal and it rolled into the unguarded net.

Howards made a huge impact on the Banbury performance lifting them with his pace and constant chasing down, and he was rewarded again on sixty-nine minutes with his second to give the Puritans the lead. A free kick out on the right just outside the area saw Tom Winters loft the ball in & Luke Carnell got in a header that Hewitson did well to dive away to his left to palm away, but on the six-yard line Howards was unmarked to smash home.

Howards made immediate impact

That lead lasted just five minutes, some poor defending allowing Merthyr to equalise, Harry Franklin chipped a ball over the top for Jones to get down the right channel, he squared across the box and running in at the back post Corey Jenkins couldn’t miss. As quick as they equalised they fell behind again, a high ball sent upfield from Wise saw a defender struggle with the bounce, again Howards in the thick of the action was fed through and he fired across goal, at the back post Winters pulled back to Sandy who fired into the roof of the net from five yards out.

Merthyr rallied and a fierce drive from substitute Lee Price saw Harding dive away to his left to save with both hands, before Jenkins attacked down the left again, his shot flashed across goal and took a deflection somewhere as a corner was awarded. As the clock ticked into the final minute, Banbury hearts were broken when their guests equalised again. A ball over the home defence saw a shot fired across the goal mouth, in the middle Jones instinctively stuck out his boot and the ball bounced off the inside of the post and in.

There was time for a late chance for the home side, a free kick just inside the Merthyr half was floated high into their box by Winters, climbing highest was substitute Ricky Johnson but he was always underneath the ball and could only loop his header high over the bar. F/T: 3-3

Attendance: 512

Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit

After the game Sports Shots spoke to Banbury boss Mike Ford: 

For match photography click here:

SLP; Wise words before Banbury can think about Sandy beaches

Saturday 21st April 2018

Banbury United v Merthyr Town

Southern League Premier Division

Banbury Community Plant Hire Stadium

K.O. 3.00pm

Banbury United entertain Merthyr Town on Saturday in their final home game of the current season, and will be looking to finish their home campaign with a win after a midweek defeat at St Neots. Whilst The Puritans could still finish sixth & one place outside the play-offs, they would still be a long way off those above, as the competitive nature of this league still see’s fifth place Slough with the potential to finish on ninety-nine points yet finish in the last play-off place, and the top four could all finish on over one hundred points each. Two of those definitely will not go up, meaning a fantastic season in terms of points tally will ultimately result in disappointment. Can United send the home faithful home happy for the summer?

Ahead of the game Sports Shots caught up with Elliot Sandy & Charlie Wise, and asked Charlie what he remembered about the game at their place earlier in the season, where his side triumphed on the night?

I remember a long long trip on a Tuesday night, unfortunately I was injured that night and didn’t play. Merthyr were a young side who played well and if it wasn’t for Leams smart finish it could have been a very different result. Their form is very good of late so Saturday will be a massive test

Elliot agreed:

When we travelled over there they were going through a few troubles and had a young side out, we enjoyed a good win but they have sorted themselves out since, and are much improved so we are expecting a much tougher battle this time round

Elliot Sandy

We asked Charlie what happened in the defeat at St Neots on Tuesday:

The game was difficult to say the least, I think we made it more difficult than it needed to be but full credit to St Neots, they had a game plan and executed it with good quality & consistency. I think everybody could see the minutes we had all played in the previous nine or ten days, but we’ve had a few days rest now so will expect to be back at 100% on Saturday

Elliot looked back at the run his side had been on:

We’d been on such a great run until that disappointing game on Tuesday, but that was our fifth game in ten days!! There isn’t a secret behind it, we have a very good team who on our day can match anybody in this league as results have shown, our lack of consistency at times this season is what has cost us dearly

How does Elliot think Banbury have competed against the top sides this season?

I think it has been a solid season from Banbury, in all levels of football money talks so it’s no surprise to see the top five big hitters securing the top five positions. But as I touched on before, in our recent games against them we have matched all of them and with such a young squad I would hope the younger lads learn from this season to push on next season

Where does Charlie think Banbury need to improve to push on next season?

The top five this season have dominated, you can tell that by the points tally & the gap between them and the rest of us. At Banbury we believe that we can be a club inside that top five, and we haven’t been a million miles away this year but it’s just been about our consistency. Consistency from individuals that’s lead to consistency from the team, this is something that can only get better with time so next season we look to improve and push on. You only have to look at the amount of draws we have had to realise how close we are to challenging the clubs at the top

Charlie Wise

How does Charlie feel his own season has been?

For me personally it’s been great, I started the season at Wantage Town in the Hellenic Premier and was playing, in late August early September I made the decision I wanted to be at Banbury no matter what. I was very lucky that the gaffer gave me the opportunity to get fit & prove to the staff, the squad and the supporters that I could be good enough to play at this level. If someone had said to me back in October, when I wasn’t getting anywhere near the squad and training on my own to work on my fitness, that I would get twenty odd appearances most of which have been from the start, I wouldn’t have believed them, so now I am enjoying playing, and feel extremely lucky to be playing at this level and doing so with Banbury United makes it even better!

And has Elliot enjoyed his season?

For me it’s been a season of two halves. I started the season well at Stamford but needed surgery on a minor problem which set me back a couple of months, then I joined Banbury and feel I have gone from strength to strength gaining fitness, scoring goals and helping the team more as I got fitter & back to nearer my best. I’m happy with my goal return here, and am feeling positive looking towards next season

Finally, what does the summer hold for Charlie?

The summer holds a holiday or two but I am also putting together a fitness plan for the off season. Anton Sambrook has been helping me all season staying behind after training, helping with diets and has made a massive difference, so thankfully he has said he will help put together a summer plan so that when pre-season comes along, I will have the best possible chance of getting a starting place in the team when the first league game arrives

And Elliot has a message to the Banbury faithful:

I’d like to say to all the United fans thank you for all your support home & away this season, you have been brilliant! Now rest up, enjoy the World Cup, and I will hopefully see you next season for a big promotion push!

Sports Shots would like to thank Charlie & Elliot for their time this week.

SLP; Banbury put Farnborough through pure El

Banbury United – 4

Farnborough – 1

Banbury United kept up the pressure on the play-off places in the Southern League Premier Division with a thumping win over Farnborough; Elliot Sandy the hero scoring all four goals. United led at the break and seconds after the restart scored again to take a two goal lead, but when Farnborough pulled a goal back a few nerves kicked in until the visiting keeper Craig Bradshaw lost his head with Ricky Johnson, pushing the striker to the floor on the goal line, resulting in an early shower for the shot stopper and a penalty for the hosts. Sandy converted the spot kick to seal his hatrick, and with the extra man went on to dominate the remainder and exact some revenge for the defeats earlier in the season, and gain their first ever win over the Hampshire side.

The game started slowly, just a corner apiece without much threat in the opening ten minutes barely got the crowd excited as the skies grew increasingly darker. On fourteen minutes a cross from the left flank from Tom Winters almost caught Bradshaw out and had him back tracking to acrobatically turn over his own crossbar. As the half progressed United slowly took control and looked the more dangerous, on the half-hour mark a free kick into the Farnborough box was flicked on by Sandy to Ricky Johnson who netted however a raised flag denied any celebration.

Elliot Sandy gives Banbury lead

Farnborough however did not heed the warning, as just a minute later another Winters free kick was flicked on by Luke Carnell, and on the edge of the six-yard box Sandy turned and smashed home to give his side the lead. United continued to press after the goal however very few chances materialised as the game drifted out to the break. H/T: 1-0

Before either side had chance to settle after the break, Banbury doubled their lead barely forty seconds in when Winters crossed from the left wing and stealing in at the near post Sandy swept home inside the near post, sending the home supporters into raptures. The hosts now sensed more and a free kick into the Farnborough box was headed narrowly over by Johnson.

The visitors slowly but surely started to fight back, on fifty-three minutes half-time substitute Jaydon Antwi dispossessed a United defender out on the right touchline and advanced towards goal, from twelve yards out he fired wide despite colleague Connor Calcutt in the middle unmarked, who certainly made his feelings clear.

Kieran Rhule then forced United keeper Martin Herdman into a decent save at the foot of his near post, turning away for a corner. Then on fifty-seven minutes the away side pulled a goal back, a low drive from Josh Bailey on the edge of the box was saved by Herdman but following up Antwi knocked home running in from the six-yard line, despite the suspicion of offside.

Now it was the visitors turn to apply some pressure, sensing they could possibly get something from the game, Antwi got away from Carnell inside the Banbury box and saw a fierce shot saved at point blank range by Herdman who used to his legs to block. Paul Stonehouse then blocked a Keano Deacon shot as Farnborough started getting a head of steam up and the equaliser seemed imminent. However, it all fell apart on seventy-three minutes when a Winters free kick from the left was challenged for by Bradshaw & Johnson right on the goal line, as the ball was cleared the keeper appeared to clash with the Puritan striker and a push saw Johnson fall inside the goal area. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and brandished a red card to the Farnborough custodian.

Johnson & Bradshaw challenge

Skipper CJ Fearn donned the gloves, and his first job was to recover the ball from the back of the net after Sandy completed his hattrick from the spot kick. The goal changed the complexion of the game for both sides, Banbury pushed for more whilst their guests tried to defend as best they could. A corner saw Carnell head for the top corner but Fearn was quick to gather with both hands.

With a minute left, a free kick was awarded to the home side a few feet outside the area, Sandy angled the ball across the area and despite a few bodies trying to get something on it, the ball bounced into the far corner to complete a memorable afternoon for the Banbury midfielder. F/T: 4-1

Attendance: 373

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After the game Sports Shots spoke to four goal hero Elliot Sandy: 
And also manager Mike Ford: 

For match photography click here: