Banbury United 1-0 Leiston
By Steve T
Ricky Johnson gives Banbury the points
Leiston made their first visit from Suffolk to the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium but were defeated by a solitary Ricky Johnson goal in the second half.
Banbury fielded the same team as their first two games and shaded a tight first half in which there were no clear cut chances for either side. Lewis Gabbidon came closest to breaking the deadlock when his 20 yard drive was pushed over the bar by Leiston keeper Marcus Garnham for a corner. Earlier Steve Diggin had shot over from close range after good work by Greg Kaziboni. James Goff in Banbury's goal had to be alert to a Christy Finch shot and Charlie Wise did well to block a Finch shot after the striker had initially got behind the home defence.
A double substitution for Banubry on 58 minutes saw Ricky Johnson and Mark Bell come on for Ravi Shamsi and Lewis Gabbidon and this soon paid dividends. After a Lee Henderson header from a Bell corner was cleared off the line Banbury took the lead on 67 minutes. Kaziboni intercepted a weak sideways pass just inside the Leiston half and quickly set Johnson away in the left hand channel who advanced and fired the ball high past Garnham into the net.
Three minutes later after a good lay off from Diggin, Bell advanced into the area from the left hand edge and his shot somehow squeezed through a narrow gap between the left post and the advancing Jack Self. Johnson also went close with a flying header but had to himself be substituted due to a muscle strain to allow Harry Whitehead to come on and make his league debut.
Despite Banbury's dominance having not scored a second always meant there was an air of vulnerability and there was relief when Leiston midfielder Matt Blake shot across the goal on 77 minutes when well placed. After this Banbury held out with no alarms although a harsh free kick awarded against Wise in a dangerous position late in injury time was met with groans from the home support but it was easily gathered by Goff. The final whistle soon followed to keep up Banbury's good start to the campaign.
Banbury United: 1. James Goff, 7. Charlie Hawtin, 2. Jordy Ngathe, 6. Lewis Gabbidon (Sub 11. Mark Bell, 58 mins), 5. Charlie Wise, 14. Lee Henderson, 20. Jack Finch, 8. Jack Self, 10. Steve Diggin 13. Ravi Shamsi (Sub 9. Ricky Johnson 58 mins – Sub 17, Harry Whitehead 75 mins), 16. Greg Kaziboni.
Unused Subs: 12. Amer Awadh, 18. Ben Baker.