Banbury United 1-1 Redditch United
By Steve T
Stoppage time equaliser denies United a victory
Banbury picked up their first point in four matches but the game was overshadowed by serious injuries to Charlie Hawtin and Sean Whaler.
Manager Mike Ford strengthened his squad with the loan signing of Northampton Town strikers Joe Iaciofano and he went straight into the team. Matt Taylor returned to the starting XI after missing out on Saturday due to Oxford United duties. Harry Whitehead joined Lee Henderson at centre back with Charlie Wise moving to the bench. Greg Kaziboni remained unfit.
Banbury started positively and after good work by Matt Taylor on the left, Giorgio Rasulo found space to shoot from 20 yards out but his shot was too high and wide of the target.
Redditch's first chance came when Robbie Bunn dispossessed Harry Whitehead on the left and cut into the area but his wayward shot struck two Banbury defenders before almost ricocheting in off Danico Johnson.
However, Banbury were probably in control of a low-key game when Ravi Shamsi netted his fourteenth goal of the season. A flick from Ricky Johnson was only half cleared and Shamsi collected the ball, took a touch and shot early to Redditch keeper Whitehouse's left and although he got a hand to it he couldn't keep it out.
Banbury enjoyed a good spell after the goal. Half-chances were created and Lee Henderson failed to make good contact when in space at the back post following a corner. Just before the break Banbury suffered a blow when Charlie Hawtin was taken out of the game by a late tackle from Michael McGrath. McGrath was lucky to escape a red card for the challenge.
With Hawtin unable to continue, his leg heavily gashed, Eddie Odihambo took over the right-back berth for the second half which saw Redditch up their game and the match becoming very physical. Redditch favoured long throws and Banbury had to be alert the danger of high balls. It was a half of few chances and was marred by an injury to substitute Sean Whaler who fell awkwardly getting a shot away and had to be stretchered off. An X-ray later showed a fractured fibula and displaced ankle bones necessitating an operation.
With the injury adding significant time to the clock Redditch equalised two minutes into stoppage time. A corner was chipped to the edge of the box where Evans expertly volleyed home.
Banbury: 1. Jack Harding, 3. Matt Taylor, 6. Ravi Shamsi, 7. Charlie Hawtin (Sub 15. Eddie Odihambo 45'), 8. Edmund Hottor, 9. Ricky Johnson (C), 10. Joe Iaciofano (Sub 2. Sean Whaler 75', Sub 5. Charlie Wise 83'), 12. Amer Awadh, 14. Lee Henderson, 17. Harry Whitehead, 18. Giorgio Rasulo.
Subs not used: 11. Prudence Anaele, 19. Ryan Macdonald.
Redditch: 1. Adam Whitehouse, 2. Jamie Ashmore, 3. James Bowen, 4. Michael McGrath (Sub 14 Nyeko Sinclair 70'), 5. Andrew Parsons (C), 6. Robert Evans, 7. Shaquille Leachmann-Whittingham, 8. Robbie Bunn, 9. Dancio Johnson, 10. Jack Stoker (Sub 17. Leam Howards 70'), 11. Richard Batchelor (Sub 15. Harry Franklin 88').
Subs not used: 12. Jordan Stoddart, 16. Michael Nelson.
Man of the Match – as selected by club sponsors Banbury Plant Hire – Harry Whitehead