Banbury United FC v Tamworth FC
Banbury United FC
Tamworth visited the Spencer Stadium for the first league encounter since November 1989, although a 2014 trip in the Birmingham Senior Cup had put the Lambs on the road to the final and a date with West Bromwich Albion.
Dennis Greene selected his third starting line-up and included new signing Jordan Gough who came in from Boston United, while Akwasi Asante was forced to sit out through injury / illness.
Banbury started the game with The Lambs in their 2018-19 skyblue away kit for the first time, and both sides started brightly without any real threat until the 10th minute when a threaded ball forced a corner for the home side.
Awadh got his foot to it inside the six yard box and Singh pushed it way to safety with a one handed save. Rasulo then stole in and forced a second corner with a powerful right footed shot from the left of the box, but Verma was there to head the flag kick away.
A third corner in quick succession was then easily taken by Singh at height. Another ball to Rasulo’s feet and shot from 18 yards on 14 forced Singh to catch the ball at chest height as The Puritans found some impetus going forwards.
Finn forced his way through the Banbury back line on 17 and struck low from 20 yards to give Harding his first real touch of the ball. Beswick tried his luck from 25 yards on 22, but his half volley lifted over the target and didn’t trouble Harding.
A fine ball from Finn to Lait saw the latter advance into the box on 28 but his shot was blocked and went out for a corner while Lait felt the after effects of close attention from the defender and the flag kick was subsequently cleared.
Finn and Lait combined again on 33 but again the latter was foiled by a hard working home defence as the first half continued to be a finely poised balance between both sides.
A cross from Verma on 37 took a deflection for a corner on the left but Beswick’s ball in was blocked on route to the box and eventually went out for a goalkick.
Gough and a Banbury midfielder tumbled into the box from the home sides right wing n 42 setting up Rasulo with the deadball and he whipped it into the right side netting with Singh covering it just in case.
Jemson slid a well timed tackle in to deny the home side’s advance over the halfway line on 44 and as the clock ticked into added time at the end of the first half Beswick’s chipped cross was met by the head of Waite, but cleared by the covering defender before the half time whistle blew.
HT: BANBURY UNITED 0 0 TAMWORTH
Clement replaced Lait at half time before the Lambs restarted proceedings. Waite made in roads into the Banbury box on the right and then the left, but nothing came of the balls into the area.
Clement spotted an opening on 51 and made a strong run then hit a powerful shot from 20 yards which Harding was equal to.
Finn whipped the ball from the right across the box looking for Moore but it went out past the far post on 58.
Good work by Moore just past the hour saw him keep the ball in play at the right corner and feed it back to Finn who in turn fed Beswick 20 yards out, but for the second time in the game his shot rose over the target from distance.
From the ensuing play Finn picked up the ball on the right and hit a low shot but Harding smothered it.
Verma was forced to head a Kaziboni cross behind for a right sided corner on 65 and Henderson directed his header, from the flag kick, wide of the far post.
Kaziboni then looked up and shot low but wide of the right hand post as Banbury enjoyed a brief spell behind the Lambs back line.
A good cross from Finn on the right eventually fell to Moore but the ball didn’t set up right and with the travelling faithful behind the goal urging the net to ripple, his shot was only half hit towards goal and The Puritans survived.
At the other end, and more by luck than judgement, a cross from the right from Rasulo beat Singh and skimmed the front face of the bar before being cleared from the opposite side but it gave the home side more impetus.
The Lambs made two changes with 12 to go and it added some urgency to the Tamworth side, but when Waite received the ball in the left of the box his shot aiming for the top right corner was high and wide of the mark.
A timely stop by Green to prevent a cross from Rasulo’s cross causing problems kept the game goalless in 82 but the first card of the game came on 83 when Waite was penalised for a late challenge on the touch line.
Tamworth countered and caused problems in the box with a rally of blocked shots in quick succession which forced a corner.
Former Lamb Eddie Odihambo (Anaclet) came on for the visitors with 5 to go and both sides moved the ball around a lot quicker in the final few minutes to try and snatch a late winner.
Banbury forced a corner on the right on 93 but it came to nothing and the final whistle blew on a point a piece.
Singh, Green K, Gough, Beswick, Kettle, Jemson, Finn, Verma (Hayden 78), Waite, Moore (Dunkley78), Lait (Clement HT)
Subs: Townrow, Wright
YC: Waite 83
Banbury United Team:
Harding, Hawtin, Martin, Nash, Johnson, Henderson, Finch, Rasulo, Diggin (Odhiambo 85), Awadh, Kaziboni
Subs: Heapy, Wise, Bell, Barnett
Referee: Mr. B Hall