Banbury United 2 Cirencester Town 1
Goals from Luke Carnell and Conor McDonagh earn United three points
There was one change from the starting line-up at Frome the previous Saturday with the injured George Nash's midfield place being taken by Marvin Martin. There was also a first squad appearance with a place on the bench for Romanian Adrian Boitos a central midfielder who signed a couple of weeks back after impressing in training.
After a fairly equal but rather uneventful opening ten minutes, Banbury would start to have the better of the game and they would take the lead in the 19th minute when a corner from the right taken by Tom Winters was put into the six yard box at the far post where it hit Ellis Dunton, the ball then going into the path of Luke Carnell whose shot from close range took a deflection off Connor Thompson's legs in the Cirencester goal up into the top corner of the net.
Cirencester though responded well to going behind and matched Banbury for the rest of the half. In the 25th minute Alan Griffin set up Kerry Morgan on the edge of the Banbury penalty area whose shot went just inches wide. At the other end, just before the interval Manny Duku let fly from a narrow angle deep inside the Cirencester penalty area down the right, the fierce shot going a few feet over the bar.
Cirencester began the second half well and just two minutes into this period the ball bounced up nicely for Morgan on the edge of the Banbury penalty area but Jack Harding in the Banbury goal was equal to the shot, diving low to his right to hold the ball down by the post. Three minutes later a free-kick from wide on the right taken by Morgan saw Dunton get his head to the ball first on the edge of the six yard box but the header lacked the power and direction to trouble Harding who saved comfortably.
Then in the 54th minute a loose goal-kick from Harding was intercepted and presented a chance for Griffin but the Banbury custodian redeemed himself by diving at the striker's feet and saving with his legs before when the loose ball came back into the centre from the right courtesy of Henry Spalding he made an excellent save from Griffin's header on the edge of the six yard box, diving low to his right to knock the ball away by his post.
So it was rather against the run of play in the second half when Conor McDonagh made it 2-0 in the 57th minute. The United substitute, on at half time for Manny Duku, timed a run perfectly to get onto the end of a Jack Self through ball before hitting the ball across the visiting custodian from the edge of the penalty area down the right into the far bottom corner of the net.
Two minutes later and a Self shot from about the same position as McDonagh had scored just moments earlier, this time saw the ball hit the far post before coming out,
In the 71st minute a low cross from the left by WInters saw Ricky Johnson do well to control the ball and beat Dunton to create a glorious opportunity before with just the custodian to beat shoot well over the bar from 12 yards.
Cirencester were still battling away though and showed no signs of giving up, pulling a goal back through Dan Demkiv in the 77th minute when his cross from the right sailed over Jack Harding's head into the far top corner of the net. Whilst the goal may have been fortunate, on the balance of play it was one that the visitors deserved
It was then rather an anxious final quarter of an hour of the game for Banbury with the visitors going close on two or three occasions, primarily scrambles deep inside the Banbury penalty area, but the game finished without further goals so it was a 2-1 win to Banbury.
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Eddie Odhiambo, Tom Bradbury, Marvin Martin, Jack Westbrook, Luke Carnell, Zac McEachran, Jack Self, Ricky Johnson, Manny Duku (Conor McDonagh 46), Tom Winters (Callum White 83). Subs (not used): Darius Browne,Mark Bell, Adrian Boitos, .
Cirencester Town: Connor Thompson, Aidan Bennett, Ellis Dunton, James Mortimer-Jones, Matt Liddiard, Matt Coupe, Henry Spalding (Charlie Griffin 76), Adam Connolly, Alan Griffin, Dan Demkiv, Kerry Morgan (Kieran Diaz-Benitez 61). Subs (not used): Ryan Elliott, Lewis Thompson, Scott Rose.