Banbury United Under 18's unbeaten run came to an end away against an undefeated Mickleover Sports Club Juniors with a narrow 4 - 3 loss. the game was marred by some "ugly" scenes at the end which ended up with three players being sent off and does not reflect well on either club. Banbury had to play the game without the leagues top scorer Ryan MacDonald who was on First Team Duty and a few players missing through injury. Despite this the teams were evenly matched from the start with neither being able to create any clear cut chances. However, it was Banbury who took the lead when the ball fell for Aodhan O'Sullivan in the penalty area who although did not connect cleanly with the ball did enough to give Banbury the lead. This led to a spell of the match when Banbury looked the better side, but Mickleover equalised with a shot from inside the box. They then took the lead when some poor defending allowed their player a chance to score. Shortly afterwards Mickleover took a 3 - 1 lead through a fine shot from outside the penalty area. Banbury were now facing a real challenge to get back into the game against a side who have so far not been beaten this season. However, Banbury pulled one back before half-time when debutant Samuel Darke, drafted in from the younger age group due to our injury issues, who scored from close range. The second half began with Banbury looking for the equaliser and it looked liked they were going to be denied, until a wonderful individual goal from Ali Candler. he picked up the ball from inside the Mickleover half and went on a run "shrugging" off a number of challenges to arrive in the box to then shoot pass the goalkeeper to make it 3 - 3. This is how it looked like it would finish. However, the matched finished with an unsavoury "melee" between both sets of players following a late challenge on Reece Rowe-Wooding. The sparked a retaliation causing many players to become involved and punches to be thrown. After it all calmed down the Referee sent Reece and Aodhan O'Sullivan off and one of the Mickleover players. In honesty, it perhaps could and perhaps should, have been more. So Banbury had to see out the last five minutes with nine men for a point. This was not to be and a free-kick awarded just outside the penalty area two minutes from time, resulted in the ball being sent into the box and a Mickleover player scoring the winner. Those of us who played the game will know that under extreme provocation it is difficult not to retaliate. However, controlling this emotion is something the team will need to learn as it could be argued it cost Banbury a point.
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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.