Banbury United 3 Royston Town 0
Second half goals from Conor McDonagh, Leam Howards and Jefferson Louis give United a convincing win over Royston Town
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Photo above of Jefferson Louis heading home United's third goal courtesy and copyright of Edwin Barson
With Tom Bradbury ill, Ricky Johnson returned to the back line to partner Luke Carnell in the centre. Jack Finch was out with a thigh injury thus Elliot Sandy started along with Darren Pond who returned from suspension with Sam Humphreys having to be satisfied with a place on the substitute’s bench. There was also a starting place up front for Leam Howards.
Banbury began the game well dominating the early play. Leam Howards let fly from 20 yards in just the first minute but his shot went wide. In the seventh minute a cross from wide on the left by Tom Winters was headed wide by Conor McDonagh from 12 yards.
Though Banbury continued to dominate proceedings Royston went close to scoring in the 16th minute when Josh Oyinsan broke through down the right but Jack Harding in the Banbury goal was alert to the danger coming out to narrow the angle and the Royston striker’s shot from the edge of the penalty area went wide.
Though Banbury still looked the better side, Royston went even closer to taking the lead on 26 minutes when Banbury gave the ball away in midfield enabling James Potton to run at goal and he then passed across to Oyinsan whose shot from 15 yards thundered against the crossbar with the ball being collected on the right by former Puritan Scott Bridges whose cross into the centre was headed wide by Oyinsan from eight yards.
Banbury had a great chance to take the lead in the 36th minute after Howards had been adjudged to have been brought down by Royston goalkeeper Josh Tibbetts but the custodian then made a good save diving to his right to knock away McDonagh’s low spot-kick.
Royston seemed to be lifted by Tibbett’s save and had a good spell in the last ten minutes of the half. A minute before the interval United were grateful to an excellent save by Harding as Gus Scott-Morriss in the proverbial acres of space coming in from the right shot fiercely from 12 yards with Harding, having come out to narrow the angle, pushing at full stretch the goal-bound shot around the post for a corner.
Four minutes into the second half and a cross from the right by McDonagh just eluded Howards coming in at the six yard line but on 54 minutes United would take the lead that their play deserved when a cross in from the right by Jordy Ngathe caused problems in the Royston penalty area with the ball eventually falling to Mcdonagh who fired a low left-footed shot from 12 yards across the goalkeeper into the bottom corner of the net.
Royston responded well to going behind though and within the next five minutes created a couple of decent chances. Firstly, a cross in from the right by Gus Scott Morriss saw Potton shoot rather tamely at goal from 12 yards with Harding saving comfortably and then the same player shot wide from a similar distance, in both cases the Royston striker should probably have done better.
On the hour mark a McDonagh cross in from the right saw Winters, though not connecting properly with his header at the six-yard line, have his effort headed away off the line by Ed Asafu-Adjaye for a corner. The resultant flag-kick then saw Ricky Johnson’s header headed off the line by Lee Chappell.
A minute later though and United would get the all-important second goal. Luke Carnell, still up front from a corner, knocked the ball to Elliot Sandy on the edge of the penalty area who turning one way and then the other did exceptionally well to create room for a shot which looked bound for the back of the net but Leam Howards was on hand at the six yard line to make sure getting his head to the ball and deflecting it past Tibbetts into the back of the net.
Royston continued to create chances though with Josh Castielione shooting just wide from the edge of the Banbury penalty area and Adam Marriott going on a great run in from the left but then failing to connect properly with his shot at the six yard line with the goal almost at his mercy.
But United would have the last word in the 87th minute when a high cross in from the right by Ngathe saw Jefferson Louis rise majestically to out-jump Tibbetts four yards out in the centre and head the ball powerfully into the top corner of the net.
It was a game in which Royston had their chances but on this day United converted theirs whilst the visitors were off target with most of theirs
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Jordy Ngathe, Charlie Hawtin, George Nash, Ricky Johnson,
Luke Carnell, Darren Pond, Elliot Sandy (Jefferson Louis 85), Leam Howards (Sam Humphreys 73), Conor McDonagh, Tom Winters (Matt Peake-Pijnen 90). Subs (not used): None.
Royston Town: Josh Tibbetts, Gus Scott-Morriss, Lee Chappell, Scott Bridges, Harry Darling, Dan Brathwaite (Josh Castielione 60), Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Sam Corcoran, Josh Oyinsan (Adam Marriott 60), James Potton, Scott Thomas. Subs (not used): Beckham Kennelly, Martel Powell, Tom Canham.