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Banbury snatch last-gasp winner to down Town

Stratford Town goalkeeper Niall Cooper attempts to clear the danger at Banbury on Saturday. Photo: Steve Wood
Stratford Town goalkeeper Niall Cooper attempts to clear the danger at Banbury on Saturday. Photo: Steve Wood

STRATFORD Town slipped to the unluckiest of defeats as Banbury came from behind to claim a 2-1 win at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium, writes Bryan Hale.

Although still in the top half of the table, Banbury had lost their last three games without scoring a goal, but they made a lively start.

Niall Cooper did well to hold a low right cross from Callum White in the opening minute, followed by Banbury forcing a couple of early corners before Town were able to settle down.

Will Grocott and Ben Stephens began to see more of the ball in midfield, but it was Banbury who went close to taking the lead in the 15th minute when Zac McEachran’s close control took him past James Fry and Guy Clark to shoot inches wide of Cooper’s left hand post.

Soon after, a Grocott corner caused panic in the Banbury six-yard box before it was cleared away, but it was developing into a game of few chances, and apart from set pieces neither side really threatened as half-time was reached with the game still goalless.

Sam Humphreys wasn’t far away for Banbury soon after the restart, but it was Town who broke the deadlock on 57 minutes when Edwin Ahenkorah whipped in a low cross from the right which was turned in by Stephens from close range.

Simeon Tulloch had a great chance to double Town’s with his first touch after replacing Ahenkorah five minutes later but he could only volley over from Mike Taylor’s centre and that escape gave Banbury the impetus to press for the equaliser.

And it eventually arrived in the 79th minute when Marvin Martin’s low cross from the left was deflected past Cooper by the luckless Guy Clark.

Cooper then pulled off two smart saves from McEachran as Banbury poured forward in search of the winner and in the third minute of added time they got their reward in bizarre circumstances when White's attempted cross from the right eluded Cooper and dropped behind him into the net.

Stratford Town: Niall Cooper, Dan Summerfield,, Kieren Westwood, James Fry (c), Liam Francis, Guy Clark, Barry Fitzharris, Will Grocott, Mike Taylor, Ben Stephens (Donnell Benjamin 70), Edwin Ahenkorah (Simeon Tulloch 61).

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