Banbury United 2-0 King's Lynn Town
By Steve T
High-flying Linnets expertly netted by patient United
Banbury United made it two league wins on the bounce after a 2-0 victory over promotion chasing King's Lynn Town. United were on the back foot for much of the game but were indebted to a Man of the Match performance from keeper Jack Harding to repel the Norfolk team.
Manager Mike Ford kept an unchanged starting XI from last week's win and Lee Henderson, who had recovered from concussion, and loanee Matt Berry-Hargreaves, back from illness, were on the bench.
King's Lynn started confidently and had already come close twice before Harding produced a stunning save to keep out the experienced Adam Marriott's volley after a good Michael Gash cross. It was all one-way traffic with Banbury battling to get a foothold in the game and Harding twice saved the day, first in keeping out a fierce drive from Marriott and then before deflecting a shot from Gash around his near post.
However, against the run of play Banbury took the lead two minutes before the break. Greg Kaziboni picked up a misplaced square pass about 15 yards inside the Banbury half. With the first hint of space he'd had all afternoon, he advanced forward before curling a left-footed shot over and around King's Lynn keeper Street and into the top left-hand corner of the goal.
Joe Iaciofano almost made in 2-0 in stoppage time as he nipped in between Street and McAuley near the right-hand post before they recovered to deny him at close range. However, Banbury would be well satisfied on the balance of play with a 1-0 lead at the break.
Early in the second half Harry Whitehead headed over from Giorgio Rasulo's corner but the game then developed into a similar vein to the first. The visitors had plenty of possession but could not find a way past the inspired Harding.
With King's Lynn looking for an equaliser the game stretched out. Kaziboni did well to create an opening on the right-hand side of the box but his shot lacked the power to trouble Street. Kaziboni and Rasulo combined on the counter to set up sub Amer Awadh but his fierce drive from 15 yards was palmed away high to his right by Street. Harding then did brilliantly low to his left to keep out a shot from substitute Limb and with Lynn forwards looking to pounce on the rebound with the goal open, Matt Taylor made a superb challenge to thwart them.
The all-important second came on 88 minutes. George Nash won the ball deep in Banbury's half, advanced up the touchline and sent Awadh away from the half-way line. The mercurial Awadh saw off two defenders before chipping the ball over the advancing keeper and high into the net. This sealed a great win and continued Banbury's fine home form against the division's leading sides in an up-and-down season.
Banbury: 1. Jack Harding, 3. Matt Taylor, 4. George Nash, 5. Charlie Wise, 7. Charlie Hawtin, 8. Matt Richards, 9. Ricky Johnson, 10. Joe Iaciofano (Sub 12. Amer Awadh 81'), 16. Greg Kaziboni, 17. Harry Whitehead, 18. Giorgio Rasulo (Sub 14. Lee Henderson 85').
Subs not used: 2. Matt Berry-Hargreaves, 6. Ravi Shamsi, 15. Eddie Odihambo.
King's Lynn: 1. Alex Street, 2. Ross Burrows, 3. Frazer Blake-Tracy, 4. Ryan Jarvis (Sub 12, Michael Clunan 60'), 5. Ryan Fryat,t 6. Rory McCauley, 7. Aaron Jones, 8. Jordon Richards (Sub 15. Harry Limb 80'), 9. Michael Gash, 10. Adam Marriott, 11. Chris Henderson (Sub 14. Craig Parker 64').
Subs not used: 16. Will Mellors-Blake; 17. Paul Bastock.
Man of the Match as selected by Match Sponsors Humphris Funerals – Jack Harding
Attendance – 426