Banbury United 2-1 Weymouth
By Steve T
Confident Puritans through in FA Cup replay
Anyone who thinks the magic of the FA Cup has diminished wasn't at Tuesday’s game where a fine team performance saw Banbury beat Weymouth 2-1 in their 1st qualifying round replay tie.
Manager Mike Ford made three changes from Saturday's starting eleven, more than he has made all season to date, with Mark Bell, Amer Awadh and Marvin Martin coming in for Ravi Shamsi, Giorgio Rasulo and Jordy Ngathe.
Both sides had early chances in an even opening. Greg Kaziboni's shot was deflected over and Lee Henderson headed wide from Bell's ensuing corner while Brandon Goodship cut into the box but fired over.
Weymouth enjoyed their best spell of the game as the half wore on and the prolific Goodship was foiled by Goff when he shot from the edge of the box and Martin snuffed out the rebound which fell to Jordan Ngalo. However it was Banbury who took the lead through Awadh. A long goal kick from Goff was flicked on by Ricky Johnson and fell nicely to Awadh who had timed his run to perfection and from the right-hand edge of the box steered a shot over Jordon Seabright in the Weymouth goal.
It was almost two in two minutes but Seabright beat out a cross shot from Kaziboni after more good work from Awadh to keep the deficit to 1-0 at half time.
In the second half Banbury dominated the first 15 minutes but were unable to net the crucial second goal. Shots from Awadh and Kaziboni and headers from Johnson, Charlie Wise and Lee Henderson all came close to doubling the home team's advantage. Shamsi and Rasulo were introduced for Bell and Awadh and they kept the pressure on the Weymouth defence where Stephan Zubar was outstanding in keeping Banbury at bay.
Banbury relied increasingly on the counter as Weymouth pushed forward but despite pressure and possession the visitors were unable to trouble Goff in the Banbury goal as a resolute defence and midfield kept them out of the box.
With Weymouth committing men forwards in search of the equaliser Banbury got a second on 90 minutes when good work by Rasulo and Kaziboni saw the latter upended in the area and the former confidently strike home the resulting penalty.
A late Zubar header from a corner gave Weymouth a consolation deep in injury time but there was only time for Banbury to kick off before the final whistle was blown and Banbury fans were able to celebrate a great win and look forward to a home tie with Bath City in the next round on the 22nd of September.
Banbury United: 1. James Goff, 7. Charlie Hawtin, 3. Marvin Martin (Sub 2. Jordy Ngathe, 85 mins), 5. Charlie Wise, 14. Lee Henderson, 20. Jack Finch, 8. Jack Self, 9. Ricky Johnson, 12. Amer Awadh, (Sub 13. Ravi Shamsi 61 mins), 11. Mark Bell (Sub 18. Giorgio Rasulo 61 mins)
Unused Subs: 10. Steve Diggin, 15. Eddie Odhiambo, 17. Harry Whitehead, 19. Ryan Macdonald
Man of the Match: Greg Kaziboni