Banbury United 1-1 Stratford Town
By Steve T
United disappoint a big crowd but remain unbeaten
Banbury maintained their unbeaten start to the season but they will be disappointed to have let three points slip away in a 1-1 Bank Holiday draw with local rivals Stratford Town.
Fielding an unchanged team for the fourth consecutive game, Banbury took the lead on 16 minutes when Greg Kaziboni cut in from the left and struck a shot from 25 yards past Nathan Vaughan. Vaughan had to be alert ten minutes later when he tipped a Lee Henderson header from a corner onto the bar as Banbury strove to increase their advantage. Stratford came into the game on the final few minutes of the half but Banbury were well worth the lead at the break.
Early in the second half Jack Self set up Lewis Gabbidon but his header was saved by Vaughan. A double substitution by Stratford manager Darren Byfield saw the visitors get onto the front foot. However James Goff wasn't called into action until Self felled ex-Banbury man Nabil Shariff in the penalty area. Referee Tallis had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Shariff picked himself up to send Goff the wrong way and equalise on 74 minutes
A great run down the right from Kaziboni was followed by a powerful cross but sub Amer Awadh could only make contact with his shin and the effort went wide. Deep into injury time another sub, Ricky Johnson, went close with a header but Banbury were unable to make it three wins on the bounce with manager Ford in his post match interview ruing the team's caution late in the game.
The attendance of 630 has been exceeded only nine times in home league matches since United returned to the Southern League in 2000.
Banbury United: 1. James Goff, 7. Charlie Hawtin, 2. Jordy Ngathe, 6. Lewis Gabbidon (Sub 12. Amer Awadh, 79 mins), 5. Charlie Wise, 14. Lee Henderson, 20. Jack Finch, 8. Jack Self, 10. Steve Diggin (Sub 11. Mark Bell, 80 mins), 13. Ravi Shamsi, 16. Greg Kaziboni (Sub 9. Ricky Johnson 86 mins).
Unused Subs: 18. Ben Baker, 19. Ryan Macdonald.