Royston Town 1 Banbury United 1
By David Shadbolt
A hard earned point for United as a second half goal from Banbury's Anthony Wright cancels out a first half goal from Martel Powell
Royston began the game well. In the 4th minute a shot from Lee Chappell hit the bar and then just five minutes later they would take the lead when a shot from the edge of the Banbury penalty area down the right by Martel Powell went across Jack Harding and hit the far post before the ball nestled in the back of the net.
On the quarter of an hour mark a shot from 12 yards by John Frendo smashed against the bar coming down just in front of the line before being cleared.
Having been rather fortunate not to be more than a goal down at this point, Banbury came back well as the half developed further and would match their hosts and had their fair of possession though there was no end product for their efforts with the home custodian not being required to make any saves of any note in this period.
Banbury began the second half well though and in the 49th minute showed promise when a low cross in from the left by Leam Howards just eluded Anthony Wright at the far post.
Royston went close in the 57th minute when a cross in from the right by former Puritan Scott Bridges was headed just over the bar by Lee Chappell.
But United would get the equaliser on the hour mark when Elliot Sandy put Wright through on goal and in a one-on-one with Josh Tibbetts in the Royston goal took the ball wide of the goalkeeper before slotting the ball into the gaping net.
In the 63rd minute United were indebted to goalkeeper Jack Harding for keeping them on level terms when he dived low to his left to tip away a goalbound shot from the edge of the penalty area by Bridges.
The last quarter of an hour saw Royston very much on top and putting Banbury under a lot of pressure.
The home side went very close to getting a winner in the 81st minute when a curling Martel Powell shot from the edge of the penalty area hit the bar but Banbury held out for what was a very hard earned point.
Royston Town: Josh Tirretts, Ed Asafu-Adjaye, Lee Chappell, Scott Bridges, Adam Murray, Sam Gaughran, Josh Castiglione (Ike Nzuruba 61), Martel Powell, John Frendo (Dan Brathwaite 78), Scott Thomas (Sam Corcoran 61), Romelle Alomenu. Subs (not used): Michael Baulk, Mayson Tewkesbury.
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Jordy Ngathe, Tom Bradbury, George Nash, Charlie Wise, Luke Carnell, Sam Humphreys, Jack Finch, Elliot Sandy, Leam Howards (Amer Awadh 83), Anthony Wright (Ricky Johnson 62). Subs (not used): Paul Stonehouse, Jamie Heapy.