BANBURY United have the chance to put last week’s 3-0 defeat at Hereford behind them when they entertain bottom club Gosport Borough tomorrow in the Evo-Stik South League Premier Division.

The Puritans returned to winning ways in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup in midweek with a 2-1 victory at Easington Sports.

The Hampshire side have won just twice all season and are well adrift at the foot of the table.

But the Puritans’ boss Mike Ford is determined not to take them lightly.

He said: “With last weekend’s result, I think it highlighted the difference between the ‘wannabes’ and the ones that are already up there.

“We went to Hereford with lots of optimism, but we underachieved and made a good side look really good.

“But we move on. We bounced back well in the Senior Cup and have a home game to look forward.”

“Our recent home form and results have been encouraging, but we need to respect Gosport.

“The experience of our Boxing Day defeat to Dunstable is still fresh in the mind. We must prepare really well and do everything we can to get the result.”

Leam Howards is back and available after a three-match suspension, allowing Ford to name a full-strength squad.

It will be all hands to the pump for struggling North Leigh when they travel to Shortwood United in the West Division.

Without a win since December 5, the west Oxfordshire side are missing several players for the trip to Gloucestershire.

Ryan Paddock is getting married and misses the game, along with best man Lorcan Sheehan.

Matty Grabe is side-lined through injury, while Anthony Simpson, Sam Mattock and Piers McGlynn are unavailable.

Such are North Leigh’s unavailability problems at the moment, boss John Brough named himself as an unused substitute in Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat at home to Swindon Supermarine.

But he has signed centre half Ryan New on loan from Cheltenham Town, and hopes to have another loan signing in the squad by tomorrow.

Brough has also drafted in several players from the reserves in recent weeks.

He said: “It’s been a real struggle lately, but that’s why we run a reserve side. We have needed to use them, and they haven’t let us down.

“Confidence is low, and we really need a win.

“Things haven’t gone our way lately, but I am convinced we can turn it around.”

Didcot Town host fellow play-off hopefuls Swindon Supermarine, on the back of reaching the League Cup semi-finals with a 3-0 midweek win against Redditch United.

This followed a 3-1 defeat at leaders Taunton last Saturday.

Manager Andy Ballard said: “Last week was a tough defeat to take if I’m honest.

“Taunton were just more clinical than use, but I felt we dominated possession for large parts of the first half.

“The cup match against Redditch saw the lads show great experience and we dictated play and thoroughly deserved to go through.”

Callum McNish is still ruled out through injury, but Matty Woodley returns, along with Louis Joyce and Marlon Agyakwa.

Ballard said: “If we take the Taunton result out of our recent games, we have been in great form and we are full of confidence.”

Kidlington are back to full strength at home to Cinderford.

The Greens were unlucky to only draw 1-1 at home to Winchester City on Wednesday, when the visitors scored late on after Duran Martin had given Julian McCalmon’s side a first-half lead

Kidlington have Tom Franklin, Declan Benjamin and Mark Janes available, so McCalmon will have a full squad to pick from against Cinderford.

In the East Division, Thame United face a tricky trip to second-placed Beaconsfield Town.

Thame were beaten 3-0 at home by Hartley Wintney in midweek in a game which saw Mark West’s team concede twice in the first ten minutes.

He said: “We need to play a bit better than we started the game on Tuesday.

“Going 2-0 down so quickly, we were up against it.”

Liam Tack, Thame’s new signing, was sent off on his debut last weekend against Aylesbury and begins a three-match ban tomorrow.


Banbury Utd (v Gosport Borough, home): from Harding, Ngathe, Hawtin, Nash, Carnell, Wise, Bradbury, Sandy, Johnson, McDonagh, Self, Finch, Winters, Bryan, Macdonald, Heapy, Howards.

Didcot Tn (v Swindon Supermarine, home): from Bedwell, Elkins, Young, Learoyd, Alexis, Barcelos, Pin, Agyakwa, Murphy, Reid, Ballard, Cattell, Barder, McNeill, Jeacock, Hayden, Thomas, Joyce, Woodley.

North Leigh (v Shortwood Utd, away): from Griffiths, Thompson, Lymn, Hopkins, Simpson, Keightley, R James, Seacole, Carroll, Green, Cook, Barney, D James, Harvey.

Kidlington (v Cinderford Tn, home): from Warrell, E Odhiambo, Janes, Whitehead, Franklin, Brown, Castle, Gabbidon, Coyle, Benjamin, Osborne-Ricketts, Browne, Martin ,A Odhiambo, Williams, Bell, Quainton, McMahon, Organ.

Thame Utd (v Beaconsfield Tn, away): from Hill, Murray, A Goss, Lynn, Smyth, Davies, Connell, L Goss, Morris, Johnston, Gledhill, Evans, Harrison, Ricketts, Gray, D West.