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The National League U19 Alliance

Banbury secure vital win against Rebels

Banbury United

Banbury United

Howards (51, 76), Martin (63)
Slough Town

Slough Town

League Attendance: 308 Ben Edwards
Three second half goals from Banbury condemned Slough to defeat in this re-arranged match, and kept the Puritans’ hopes of survival alive going into the final weekend.

Following the abandonment of the original fixture back in October, with Slough leading 2-1 at half time, this match only went ahead after Slough withdrew their appeal against the decision to replay the match – and Banbury took full advantage of a lacklustre Slough display to easily claim all three points despite a fairly even first half.

Early on, Slough put pressure on the Banbury defence, and the first chance arrived when Chris Henry beat his man on the by-line and attempted to beat Leigh Bedwell at his near post, but the keeper did well to deflect the ball behind. From the resulting corner, Banbury survived a penalty appeal from Slough before Dan Read headed the loose ball straight at the keeper.

At the other end, Banbury striker Kynan Isaac fired straight into the arms of Luke Williams after good play down the right, and minutes later had an even clearer chance, but he failed to get enough height or power on an attempted lob, and Williams claimed the ball easily.

Slough could only muster efforts from outside the box, with Adam Martin volleying wide and Henry shooting straight at Bedwell from a high ball forward. Banbury repelled two Slough corner kicks before both Henry and Eddie Smith tested Bedwell with low strikes across the bumpy turf.

Just before half time, Smith drove towards goal after being fed by Dan Read, but the striker dragged his shot wide.

Knowing they needed a win to maintain their hopes of staying in the Southern League Premier Division, Banbury came out with the clear intention of attacking the Slough goal. Midfielder Shepherd Murombedzi worked a shooting chance, but Williams saved easily.

Slough then missed their best chance of the match by some distance. Ben Edwards played in Smith with a disguised pass, and the striker controlled well but saw his angled shot blocked by the leg of Bedwell.

This was to prove vital as Banbury took the lead shortly after. Billy Jeffreys controlled the ball after a long ball forward, but lost possession and Leam Howards took full advantage, lifting the ball past Williams to give his side the lead.

Banbury never looked back from this point, and reinforced the fact that they seemed to want the three points more than their visitors on the night with a second goal on 63 minutes. Slough failed to deal with a Banbury corner, and allowed the ball to bounce around in the six yard box – and Marvin Martin was on hand to force the ball into the back of the net from close range.

Young striker Joe Grant was handed a debut as he replaced Gurkan Gokmen, but the Rebels struggled to create openings, with Smith’s half volley an easy save for Bedwell.

Banbury almost made it 3-0 with a far post header which flew across goal but landed wide, but were able to extend their lead on 76 minutes to make sure of all three points. Again it was a corner kick which was Slough’s downfall. Williams could only push the ball out as far as Howards, who made sure from very close range.

Slough will now look to end the season on a positive note at Dorchester on Saturday after this disappointing display.

Banbury United Lineup

Leigh Bedwell, Jacob Daffern, Marvin Martin, Tom Fishwick, Jack Westbrook, Tom Ryan, Jordan Green, Shepherd Murombedzi, Leam Howards, Kynan Isaac, Darius Browne. Subs: Luke Cray, Carl Tappin, Nathaniel Lewars, Jacob Walcott, Scott Smith.


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