Banbury United 1-2 Biggleswade Town
By Steve T
United fall to late, late goal
Banbury's poor run continued with a defeat that came with the last kick of the game.
With Charlie Hawtin and Lee Henderson out injured and Edmund Hottor still suspended, manager Mike Ford brought in at right back Matt Berry-Hargreaves, on loan from Oxford United, and in midfield the experienced Matt Richards, latterly with Bath City but with a lot of Football League experience behind him.
Banbury could not have got off to a worse start. An early Biggleswade corner was not cleared out of the box and Matt Ball fired home high into the top corner from the left-hand side of the box.
However, Banbury responded positively and were level on 11 minutes. Good work on the left between Taylor and Awadh saw the latter send a low cross across the face of goal for Ricky Johnson to slide in at the far post.
Banbury looked to build on this and a Rasulo free kick came close to being turned into the goal as the ball bounced around the six-yard box before Ravi Shamsi hooked it high over the bar. Shamsi was then set free with a clear run on goal by a Rasulo ball but with opposition keeper Donkin well advanced his lob failed to trouble him.
As the half wore on it was Biggleswade who gained the ascendancy and with the Banbury defence appealing for an offside flag that didn't come, Jack Harding saved well from their leading scorer Joe White. However, for Banbury, Matt Richards fashioned a good chance at the top of the box but his shot lacked the power to trouble Donkin.
The second half was one of few chances. Richards was dispossessed near the half way line and this set up White who shot wide of the right-hand post but fell awkwardly in doing so and was stretchered off with an ankle injury.
Banbury brought on Iciaofano for Shamsi and Kaziboni for Awadh in a search for the winner. Kaziboni has been Banbury's match winner on a number of occasions and when Ricky Johnson's ball set him free clear on goal it looked like this might be the case again. However, hesitation saw his shot deflected wide.
As the game moved into injury time Biggleswade pressed with corners and long throws into the area. Banbury couldn't get up the pitch and a 97th minute corner was worked to Liam Brooks on the left side of the box. His side-footed, curling shot eluded defenders and the unsighted Harding to end up in the opposite corner of the net. There was only time for the restart and dejection for Banbury after a tough physical game where a draw might have been a fair result but it wasn't to be.
With just one win their last nine games, United have fallen to 16th, their lowest position of the season, nine points clear of the relegation places with six matches to go.
Banbury: 1. Jack Harding, 2. Matt Berry-Hargreaves, 3. Matt Taylor, 4. George Nash, 5. Charlie Wise, 6. Ravi Shamsi (Sub 10. Joe Iaciofano, 65'), 8. Matt Richards, 9. Ricky Johnson, 12. Amer Awadh (Sub 16. Greg Kaziboni 60'), 17. Harry Whitehead.
Subs not used: 15. Eddie Odihambo, 19. Ryan Macdonald, 20. Jack Finch.
Biggleswade : 1. Sam Donkin, 2. Ben Walster, 3. Lucas Perry, 4. Kieran Forbes, 5. Jordan Gent, 6. David Longe-King, 7. Shaun Luicne, 8. Solomon Nwaboukei, 9. Joe White (Sub 13. Liam Brooks 58'), 10. Matt Ball, 11. Claudio Ofosu (sub 12. Peter Clark, 66').
Subs not used: 14. Brett Donnelly, 15. Luca Allinson, 16. Jack Bradshaw.
Man of the Match as selected by L Jarvis & Sons, Match Sponsor – Ricky Johnson
Attendance – 400
Photo: Ricky Johnson scores