Banbury United  0-1  Brackley Town   5 Sept 2020

Sun shines on return to action

This eagerly awaited first pre-season game at near neighbours Banbury United was about more than the action on the pitch.  While the 90 minutes delivered plenty to encourage both managers, a first opportunity since March to watch their team marked an important step towards the return of having spectators in grounds and the start of the season proper.

The only goal of the game came after keeper Jack Harding could only block Shep Murombedzi’s fierce shot with Chambers on hand to put his side ahead in the 12th minute.  The game was well contested throughout with Saints always the stronger and with the clearer chances but the hosts never out of the game in a lively 90 minutes for the crowd of 576 enjoying both the return of football to a Saturday afternoon and the beautiful sunny weather.

Jimmy Armson was through on goal but steered his shot just wide in the best chance of the second period before Banbury put Danny Lewis’ goal under some late pressure, Sam Brown’s close range effort blocked by Lewis in the closest United came to the equaliser.

With Glenn Walker and Shane Byrne missing, the game saw first starts for Chambers and Harry Flowers with new signing full-back Aaron Phillips coming off the bench and valuable opportunities for a number of triallists.

“It was a good work out,” Kevin Wilkin said.  “It was great to have a competitive game in front of a crowd.  It would have been nice to build on the early goal and we should have tested the keeper more but credit to Banbury.”

Starting XI:  Lewis, Miles, Triallist, Triallist, Flowers, Dean, Lowe, Murombedzi, Chambers, York, Armson.