Banbury United 4 Stratford Town 0
By David Shadbolt
United hit four after Stratford goalkeeper receives an early red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity
The key moment to this game would arrive in the 14th minute when Louis Connor in the Stratford goal came out to the edge of his area to collect a harmless looking ball headed on by Ricky Johnson but with Amer Awadh bearing down on him he failed to pick it up properly and the Banbury youngster got his foot to the ball and got the better of the custodian in a tussle only to be brought down with an empty net beckoning. Connor was duly sent off and Stratford were required to play the remaining 75 minutes down to ten men with substitute James Fry going in goal with Charlie Evans being the unlucky man to make way. And Elliot Sandy made no mistake with the spot kick to put United ahead.
Startford responded well though to conceding a goal and being down to ten men. They were unfortunate not to equalise on 25 minutes when Edwin Ahenkorah hit the post with a shot from the edge of the penalty area. They were close again on 34 minutes when Mike Taylor was put through on goal but his attempt to lift the ball over Jack Harding did not quite have enough height and the effort was saved.
Banbury got on top towards the end of the half though and on 39 minutes Leam Howards shot just inches over the bar from 18 yards.
The second goal that Banbury had been threatening for a while arrived in the first minute of stoppage time when Elliot Sandy hooked the ball into the centre from the by-line down the left and Ricky Johnson knocked the ball home from close range in the centre.
Then the result was effectively put beyond any serious doubut two minutes into the second half when a Jordy Ngathe cross from the right was headed back across goal by Johnson at the far post where Leam Howards at close range nodded the ball home.
On the hour mark United went close to extending their lead twice in the space of sixty seconds. Firstly Jack Finch's drive from 12 yards was well saved by James Fry with the loose ball then being hacked away for a corner by Dan Summerfield and then from the resultant flag-kick from the right, taken by Sandy, Johnson headed just over the bar.
The goal of the game would come in the 75th minute. Jordy Ngathe won the ball off James Hancocks just a few yards in front of his own penalty area before taking the ball forward ten yards and then producing an excellent pass down the middle to Amer Awadh who had the pace and skill to get the better of Liam Francis before superbly striking the ball across the goalkeeper into the far corner of the net from the edge of the Stratford penalty area.
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Jordy Ngathe, Paul Stonehouse, George Nash, Tom Bradbury, Charlie Wise, Amer Awadh, Jack Finch, Ricky Johnson (Ryan Macdonald 87), Leam Howards (Stephane Ngamvoulou 72), Elliot Sandy (Anthony Wright 82). Sub (not used): Charlie Barnett.
Stratford Town: Louis Connor, Dan Summerfield, Lee Thomas, James Hancocks, Liam Francis, Andrew Gallinagh, Eli Bako, Edwin Ahenkorah (Jazz Lukcie 61), Mike Taylor, Justin Marsden, Charlie Evans (James Fry 16). Subs (not used): Ben Stephens, Loyiso Recci.