In their first visit to the Bee Arena, Banbury United stormed to the top of the league with this impressive victory against a hard-working Peterborough side who were frustrated by United's defensive qualities.
The away side made their intentions clear as early as the 7th minute when Giorgio Rasulo cut inside and fired in a shot from the left which saw home 'keeper Lewis Moat tip the ball round the post for a corner. From Rasulo's resulting flag-kick, Jack Westbrook was desperately unlucky when Moat made a remarkable save from his strong goal-bound header. The ball ran along the goal-line before being cleared but only to Claudio Dias who smashed the ball home from the edge of the penalty area to give Banbury an early lead.
Peterborough went close in the 20th minute when Jack Harding reacted well to a loose ball on the left and closed the ball down from point blank range to thwart Mark Jones. Sports were gradually getting back into the game and were forcing United back into their own half but without endangering the goal and it was Banbury who got the next good chance in the 36th minute when striker Ricky Johnson was fouled some 40 yards out on the right. When the free-kick was played into the middle, Johnson rose almost unchallenged, only to see his header sail a good yard over the crossbar. Amends were made just two minutes later though as Banbury's big number nine played a perfectly weighted pass through the middle for John Mills to run on to and although his first attempt was half-blocked, he reacted first by hooking the ball home from the edge of the six-yard box, under pressure by two defenders, to double Banbury's lead.
The home side went close in the 40th minute when a wayward cross from the right sailed over everyone and Harding did well to tip the ball over the bar. However, the next chance fell to Banbury again in the second minute of time-added-on following yet another corner, this time from the right after Richard Jones had made a hash of his clearance. Rasulo's corner-kick was headed goalward by Johnson, only for Dan Lawlor to head off the goal-line to prevent United from going in three goals ahead.
After the half-time interval, Peterborough understandingly pushed Banbury back as they tried to get back into the game and former Banbury player Lewis Hillard at last started to demonstrate his undoubted class. He was involved in almost every move from the home side but magnificent defending by United kept the Turbines out and indeed it was Banbury who got the all-important third goal in the 72nd minute. A long ball up the middle saw substitute and leading scorer Jaanai Gordon slot the ball past the advancing Moat from 12 yards to make the score 3-0. Inevitably, Sports pulled a goal back in the 89th minute when Cameron Johnson poked the ball home from close range following a goalmouth scramble but it was a consolation goal against a resolute Puritan side that was well worth the three points.
Peterborough Sports:- Lewis Moat, Mitchell Griffiths, Dan Bucciero, Paul Malone, Richard Jones, Dan Lawlor (James Stevenson 67), Dion Sembie Ferris (Joshua Moreman 67), Joshua McCammon, Mark Jones (Abduramane Sano Sali 57), Lewis Hillard, Cameron Johnson.
Subs. (not used) Sam Gaughran, Ben Toseland)
Banbury United:- Jack Harding, Connor Roberts, Gedeon Okito, Jack Westbrook, Charles Hawtin, Giorgio Rasulo, Ricky Johnson (captain), Claudio Dias (Eddie Odhiambo 82), Lee Henderson, John Mills (Jaanai Gordon 61), Anderson Cayola Villarroel (Roger Ngaah Bosio 61).
Sub. (not used) Denilson Silva
Attendance – 183
Banbury Man of the Match, as selected by Puritans Radio – Lee Henderson