Bedworth United 1-3 Banbury United
Shamsi hat trick proves decisive
Banbury returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory at bottom of the table Bedworth United.
Manager Mike Ford brought in keeper Jack Harding and George Nash or their first appearances of the season whilst Greg Kaziboni was sidelined with a knock.
Banbury were gifted an early goal on six minutes when the home keeper Dan Crane passed the ball out his area straight to Amer Awadh. Awadh advanced into the box, drew the keeper before passing the ball sideways to Ravi Shamsi who had an easy task of netting the opener
If Banbury thought this would signal an easy night they were soon proved wrong as Bedworth levelled on 10 minutes. A cross from the right was headed out to Lyseden Christie about 10 yards out and his fierce first time shot crept in despite the efforts of Harding.
However Banbury regained the lead on 22 minutes with Awadh and Shamsi again linking up well. Awadh did well on the right and sent over a low cross that Shamsi met on the volley, and with great technique sidefooted the ball home.
Banbury took the lead into half time but the second period proved an attritional affair with very few chances on goal. The game was not helped by an increasingly high wind which blew the ball across the artificial turf surface. Bedworth's defence and approach play belied their lowly league position but they were unable to carve out any clearcut chances. Banbury defended resolutely but they too were unable to put together any attacking moves of note. Shamsi was set clear mid way through the half but shot just high and wide whilst searching for his hat trick.
At 2-1 and with Bedworth committing players forward in search of the equaliser there were a few anxious moments for the visiting supporters who had travelled in good numbers. However Banbury were able to put the game to bed on 87 minutes when sub Steve Diggin did well to go clear on the left. He ran in the area before squaring the ball to Shamsi who fired home for Banbury’s third and his first hat trick in senior football.
Banbury saw out time and the win sees them rise to fourth in the embryonic league table. The watching Bath City manager may not have learnt much ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie though!
Banbury United: Jack Harding, Charlie Hawtin, Marvin Martin, George Nash, Lee Henderson, Charlie Wise, Amer Awadh (Mark Bell 62), Jack Self, Ricky Johnson, Ravi Shamsi (Jordy Ngathe 88), Giorgio Rasulo (Steve Diggin 65).
Subs not used: Eddie Odhiambo, James Goff.
Man of the Match as selected by Puritans Radio: Ravi Shamsi