Hellenic League, Division Two North
Southam United 5
Banbury United Development 2
SOUTHAM United’s relaunched first team got their new Hellenic League campaign off to the best possible start with a 5-2 win over Banbury United Development in front of a crowd of 138 on Tuesday evening.
With work continuing on the new artificial pitch at Bobby Hancocks Park, Saints are playing all their opening fixtures away from home and kicked-off their season at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.
Playing in the Hellenic League for the first time in their history, Richard Kay’s newly-assembled side were ahead after only two minutes through a Brandon Smith header and almost made it two with a well-worked move that ended with Frankie Baigent shooting straight at the keeper.
In a match played at a blistering pace, United levelled from the penalty spot on 26 minutes, but Ricky Barby restored the lead with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, only for United to come back again and make it 2-2 before the break.
United had to play most of the second half with ten men after Saints were awarded a 52nd minute penalty for a foul that Levi Steele converted and Si Barby’s long-range effort made it 4-2 with just under half an hour to go.
Saints first substitution saw Ty Wilson replace Chidilim Okolo before Barby shot over the top.
Ethan Champkins replaced Tom Harris in Saints second change in the 73rd minute and Daniel Long took over from Frankie Baigent four minutes later.
Pat O’Brien wrapped up the points from close range seven minutes from time, but Saints could have had another in the dying seconds, but Smith headed over from close range with the goal at his mercy.
Saints visit Milton United on Saturday and travel to Buckingham Athletic Development on Bank Holiday Monday.