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Men's 1s Vs. Basingstoke 1s - Saturday 18th March 2023

Banbury Restamp Their Authority

Banbury 1s – 4 Basingstoke 1s – 1

Banbury men’s 1s travelled away to Basingstoke and demonstrated why they were champions with a solid victory against a stubborn opposition. It was a blistering first ten minutes after the frustration of last week, and a crucial away win to re-extend the League lead and take the opportunity to bring young Will Smith back into the side. The game started with Andrew Scanlon breaking from right back who found Harry Simons who linked perfectly with George Brooker in the D. Brooker unleashed a fierce shot which was only parried by the home keeper and man of the match Tyson Nunneley pounced on the rebound to drill home the ball and give Banbury the lead within 2 minutes.

Almost straight from the restart Josh Nunneley won the ball in midfield and launched a brilliantly executed aerial over the Basingstoke defence for Brooker to gather and charge into the opposition D and thunder a shot past the transfixed keeper to double the lead within a minute of the first goal.

The total dominance continued with Sam Chadbourne in great form down the left but it was another sparkling Simons move down the right and a perfect pass to Brooker who carved through the opposition defence and along the base line to find Tyson Nunneley who slotted home his second to make it 3–0 after only 8 minutes. Banbury’s storming start then subdued, and they then lost some of their shape and precision of their pass and move hockey. Scanlon was back on top form bewildering home midfielders as he drew and then beat defenders, but with Banbury over-committing at times the home side began a series of breakaways which had to be stifled by great interceptions and defending from Sam Pick and Pete Lamb with Joe Allen tidying up the defence and re-setting attacking moves leaving keeper Kit lamb with little to do. Basingstoke recovered to grab one goal back to make it 3-1 after this spell but they had little else to show for their efforts. Banbury then re-established their dominance but could not extend their lead but did draw a magnificent goal line stop from a home defender on the line to save Scanlon’s penalty corner drag flick. Then Simons and Chadbourne rebuilt the attacks down the flanks and the pressure told again after 23 minutes with Jacob Buckner Rowley finishing superbly another fine move down the left from Chadbourne to make it 4-1 to Banbury.

The home side seemed revived and with some tiring legs from the blistering start Banbury made and they created some chances in the dying moments of first half to give them some hope but it was Banbury who went in at half time 4-1 up and wanting more.

With the re-start the Basingstoke revival did not continue with the same effectiveness, and a mad scramble in front of the home side goal in the opening 2 minutes almost led to Banbury’s lead increasing. This set the tone for the second half with the visitors unable to convert numerous chances as the home keeper upping his game to save penalty corner drag flicks from Josh Nunneley and Scanlon. The game then turned into a stalemate as Banbury’s attack lost their potency and Basingstoke’s attacks were snuffed out by Lamb, Pick and Allen in defence. The home side came close to reducing the lead in the last moments but keeper Kit Lamb pulled out a great near post save to deny them.

Assistant Manager, Steve Brooker said: “If we play as we did in the first 20 minutes we should prosper next season in the National League but we will need learn to maintain our intensity and effectiveness for the full 70 minutes and be far more clinical. This is a team that can destroy oppositions if we get our game plan right”.

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