Banbury United 1 St Ives Town 0
A 90th minute goal from Ricky Johnson earned United a 1-0 victory over St Ives Town.
Banbury started brightly having the better of the early proceedings. A quick turn and shot from Conor McDonagh was saved well by Tim Trebes in the St Ives goal and the same player then had a close range shot blocked and a low drive saved by the visiting custodian.
St Ives though were defending well and United were unable to make a breakthrough with Trebes doing particularly well in dealing with a number of dangerous crosses into the centre.
A deep cross by Eddie Odhiambo was headed wide by Ricky Johnson but it was not totally one-way traffic and just before the break a St Ives attack ended with Ben Seymour-Shove’s effort from close range being well blocked by Odhiambo.
The second half began in the same pattern as the first, only Banbury were more dominant. In the 50th minute a Tom Winter's corner from the left was only cleared out by the St Ives defence as far as George Nash whose fine drive from 25 yards drew out an excellent save from Trebes, the loose ball was then turned into the centre by McDonagh where Johnson headed just over from close range. Two minutes later McDonagh did well to make room for a cross from the edge of the visitor’s penalty area down the right, with Johnson’s header at the far post seeing Trebes again come to the visitor’s rescue with a good save to tip the ball around the post for a corner. On the hour mark a corner from the right by Winters went through to Luke Carnell on the edge of the six yard box but the United central defender failed to connect properly and the effort was comfortably saved.
However, in the 61st minute St Ives had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Nash brought down Danny Kelly inside the Banbury penalty area. Josh Dawkin stepped up to take the spot-kick, only to see Harding pull off an excellent save, diving low to his right to knock the ball away.
The scare for Banbury failed to alter the pattern of the game with the hosts continuing to dominate the game. In the 64th minute a free-kick by Winters from wide on the left saw substitute Manny Duku hook the ball back into the middle at the far post, Trebes only able to knock the ball away into the path of Carnell but his shot was blocked and in the scramble that followed the ball was eventually hacked away to safety. Two minutes later Zac McEachran’s cross into the centre from the right saw Carnell’s glancing header saved by Trebes.
The visitor’s did go close in the 80th minute when Tom McGowan’s shot from 30 yards flashed just wide of the goal but United continued to dominate. Then, just when it looked as though United would have to settle for a point, in the 90th minute Ricky Johnson got his head to a cross from the left by Tom Winters on the edge of the six yard box, the ball striking the back of the net much to the delight of the home supporters.
Though St Ives will be very disappointed to have got so close to earning a point with some excellent defending and then to have conceded so late, one cannot argue that it was on the day a deserved three points for United.
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Eddie Odhiambo, Tom Bradbury, George Nash, Jack Westbrook, Luke Carnell, Zac McEachran, Jack Self, Ricky Johnson, Conor McDonagh (Manny Duku 64), Tom Winters. Subs (not used): Marvin Martin, Sam Humphreys, James Smith, Darius Browne.
St Ives Town: Tim Trebes, Jack Bradshaw, Charlie De’ath, Lee Chaffey, Liam McDevitt, Tom McGowan, Ben Seymour-Shove, Peter Clark, Danny Kelly, Kasey Douglas Jared Cunniff 86), Josh Dawkin. Subs (not used): Harry O'Malley, Jordan Jarrold, Jack Higg.