Too Many Cooks?
Banbury M4 1 Phoenix M3 3
Banbury men’s 4’s were attempting to retain 3rd place with their return to league fixtures after the long Christmas break. With a crowd of players looking to get a game, they took to the pitch with plenty of fresh legs. Phoenix, sitting in the second promotion place, were always going to be a tough opposition. They were still smarting from their home leg loss earlier in the season. Both sides started smartly. The difference between the two sides was the discipline, particularly in the centre of the pitch. Phoenix kept their shape and it paid off, when they got around the back of the Banbury back line to open the score. With this, the P&R midfield grew in confidence to play high. Although Adrian Lamb was able to breach this line with ease, the forwards were not able to pick up the ball. It was not too long before the second was put away, and whilst Banbury didn’t drop their heads, the third was slotted home before half time.
In the second half, Banbury regained shape and stuck to their structured midfield. The reward came with a superb pick up by Richard Dudbridge from a huge pass, who then dinked it past the last defender and squeezed it between the keeper and the right hand post. Banbury managed to switch the momentum, but Phoenix tightened up and absorbed the pressure. Some great individual play from Ben Britto in attacking midfield, and Frank Lambert in defence, particularly in the second half, kept the game alive. The clock ran down and Banbury suffered the damage that was made in the first half. Promotion chances for P&R look strong. Banbury can take many positives from the second half to their next game, another tough one at Thame.
Thanks to those that cleared the snow from the pitch that allowed us to play – great effort.