Didcot Town 2 Banbury United 2 (Didcot win on penalties)
United go out of League Cup on penalties
A much changed starting XI were on duty for United at Didcot for this Southern League Cup tie.
Didcot started the slightly better of the two sides but in the 12th minute Banbury went close when the ball bounced around the Didcot penalty area before falling to Tom Winters whose fierce shot from 15 yards went just over.
Though the game developed into an equal affair Banbury would take the lead in the 18th minute when a Winters free-kick from 25 yards was well saved by former Puritan Leigh Bedwell but Leam Howards was on hand to slot the rebound home from a narrow angle down the right.
Banbury would receive a huge set-back in the 22nd minute though when Leam Howards went for a through ball and then collided with Bedwell on the edge of the Didcot penalty area. But with Howards having his foot raised the referee deemed it was worthy of a red card and Banbury had now to play the remaining near 70 minutes with a man disadvantage.
Though Didcot had not looked particularly dangerous after the sending off, they would level the game on 35 minutes when the Banbury defence gave the ball away and George Jeacock hit a superb strike from 22 yards into the top corner of the net giving Jack Harding in the Banbury goal no chance.
Didcot nearly went ahead in the final minute of the half but Lewis Hayden’s 25 yard shot went just wide.
The second half saw Didcot, not surprisingly, having more of the game but Banbury worked hard and defended well restricting the home side primarily to long range shots. And to their credit, Banbury still looked lively going forward and always looked as if they might score.
Then with 85 minutes gone, Darren Pond collected the ball on the left and got the better of Sam Elkins before crossing low into the centre where Ricky Johnson was on hand to knock the ball home from six yards.
Banbury though can’t seem to hold on to leads for long at the moment and a minute later Didcot had levelled when a cross in from the right was knocked home from close range by Josh Pin.
So at the end of 90 minutes it was straight to penalties. Didcot scored all five but with Darren Pond missing for Banbury it was the home side who advance to the Second Round.
Didcot Town: Leigh Bedwell, Sam Elkins, Matthew Woodley (Cameron McNeill 64), Lewis Hayden, Sam Parish (Andrew Ballard 81), Adam Learoyd, George Reid, Callum McNish, George Jeacock (Josh Pin 78), Seth Humphries, Sam Barder. Subs (not used): David Murphy, Stuart Cattell.
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Charlie Hawtin, Tom James (Jack Westbrook 56), Jack Self (Conor McDonagh 90), Tom Bradbury, Charlie Wise, Marvin Martin, Darren Pond, Ricky Johnson, Leam Howards, Tom Winters. Subs (not used): Luke Carnell, Matt Peake-Pijnen, Ravi Shamsi.