Hitchin Town 0-1 Banbury United
By Steve T
A Jack Self goal earns three points as Puritans extend their unbeaten start
Banbury extended their unbeaten start to the season to five games with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Hitchin, their third in succession against the Canaries.
For the first time this season Banbury fielded a changed team with newcomer Giorgio Rasulo coming in for Lewis Gabbidon.
Hitchin had the better of the first half and did not let Banbury dictate the game. However, for all their possession and pressure they only created one really clear-cut chance. This came on 25 minutes when hesitation in the Banbury defence allowed Isaac Galliford through but he was denied by a great block from James Goff. Late in the half Greg Kaziboni pounced on an error in the Hitchin defence but his shot was dealt with by home keeper Michael Johnson.
The second half saw a better Banbury performance. Ricky Johnson came on for Steve Diggin and he soon played a big part in the game's only goal on 54 minutes, getting on the end of deep cross to head the ball across the goal for Jack Self to head home.
Banbury came close to extending their lead and on both occasions it was a Shamsi cross that caused the danger. Michael Johnson saved a Lee Henderson header and then Ricky Johnson saw his header cleared off the line. Mark Bell replaced Rasulo on 77 minutes and he almost made the points safe but a snap shot was saved by Johnson.
Late pressure from the home team did not bring any clear chances until the final minute when Charlie Hawtin cleared off the line and five minutes of injury time were seen out to ensure a Banbury victory. Manager Mike Ford was pleased with the win while reflecting in his post match Puritans Radio the need for better performances to keep the great start to the season going.