BANBURY United boss Mike Ford has called for a repeat performance when they again travel to Rushden & Diamonds for tomorrow’s Buildbase FA Trophy first qualifying round tie.

Although the Puritans lost 2-1 at the same venue on Tuesday, missing out on the chance to go top of the BetVictor Southern League Premier Division Central, Ford says his team’s second half performance was one of the best he had seen.

He believes a similar display tomorrow would see them through to the next round.

Ford said: “It was a negative result on Tuesday, but that is as far as it goes.

“Our performance was outstanding, particularly in the second half, and we should not have lost the game.

“I thought we played some exceptional football. Our Achilles heel was our defending in the first half.”

Banbury had defender Connor Roberts sent off after he picked up two yellow cards, but he will not be suspended for the re-match, which will see Banbury collect almost £2,500 if they were to win.

And after a disappointing FA Cup campaign, the Banbury boss says a Trophy run would be a welcome boost.

He said: “In the Trophy, there’s always something to play for.

“My board will be very keen for us to accumulate some winnings by getting through a few rounds.

“As manager, though, I just want my team to play how they did in midweek.

“We are in a very good place right now, and if we repeat Tuesday, there’s a very good chance of progressing.”

Banbury have a clean bill of health to the trip to Northamptonshire.

Thame United entertain Division 1 South leaders Frome Town after they came through an enthralling replay with Winchester City 5-3 in midweek.

Thame led 4-1 at the ASM Stadium, and although the Hampshire side fought back, Thame held on.

And boss Mark West is confident that his in-form side can produce another positive performance tomorrow.

He said: “We’re scoring goals for fun right now and are creating quite a lot too.

“Defensively, we have a bit of work to do. Some of our defending on Tuesday was a bit sloppy, almost like the Keystone Cops at times.

“But we are generally playing well, we got the job done on Winchester, and go into tomorrow full of confidence.”

Andy Gledhill, who dislocated his elbow in the 3-3 draw at Winchester last week has been ruled out until at least January, while Noah Alabi remains sidelined.

Harry Mepham and Matt Peake-Pijnen are slowly recovering from ankle injuries, but are likely to be on the bench.

West said: “Frome are top of their division, and so obviously have some good players, but they are at the same level as us.

“There’s no-one at our level to fear, and there’s no-one that’s massively better than anyone else, and we’ve proved on our day we can beat anyone.”

Victory tomorrow would take Thame’s Trophy earnings to £6,200, and West said: “We’re not going to win the Trophy, but a run would be nice.”

Other injury doubts are Jack Tutton (Achilles) and Dan West (groin), but both are expected to pass fitness tests.


Banbury Utd (v Rushden, away): from Harding, Roberts, Odhiambo, Westbrook, Hawtin, Rasulo, Haysham, Dias, Mills, Gordon, Cayola, Awadh, Ngaah, Okito, Silva, Isaac, Ahmed, Chong, MacDonald.

Thame Utd (v Frome Tn, home): from Hill, Lynn, Essex, Mapley, Hackett, Sturgess, Ashworth, Martin, West, Murray, Evans, Simms, Tutton, Harris, Blake, Mealing, Goss.

North Leigh will look to respond from last weekend’s defeat against Corby Town when they entertain Yaxley at Eynsham Park.

A 2-0 loss at home to

high-flying Corby ended the Millers’ good run, but joint boss Craig Dore is confident that they will return to form tomorrow.

He said: “As expected, Corby really came at us.

“But our performance wasn’t bad at all, they were just more clinical than us in the key moments.

“From where we were last season, we’ve still made a decent start.

“The league is really tight at the moment, so a couple of wins can propel us towards the

play-off positions.”

Dore names an unchanged squad.

Didcot Town, Kidlington and Wantage Town are all without a game.

North Leigh (v Yaxley, home): from Cavanagh, Ngathe, Gunn, Learoyd, McSkelly, Grant, M Williams, Woodley, L Williams, McNish, Elliott, Seacole, Linford-Pill, Hunte, Mitchell-Gears, Gillett, Alexis.