BANBURY United let slip a 2-0 lead as they fell to a seventh straight league defeat this season with a 4-2 loss at Frome Town in the Southern League Premier Division.
With Paul Davis taking charge for the first time as interim manager, things looked bright for the Puritans when goals from on-loan Josh Shama and Jacob Walcott’s penalty gave the visitors a two-goal cushion before half-time.
However, ultimately it was the dismissal of Lewis Strafford on 13 minutes that proved costly for Banbury, as the ten-men understandably tired late on, allowing the hosts to claim the points.
A much-changed visiting side went into the game hoping a change in manager would help get their season up and running.
And while just two players kept their place in the starting line-up from Monday’s home defeat at the hands of Cirencester Town, they went ahead after just three minutes.
Shama, signed on loan from Oxford United 24 hours earlier, latched onto a misunderstanding between Rhys Baggridge and Tom Golledge to chip Lewis Pierre and put his side ahead.
Strafford was then shown a straight red card for a horrible tackle on Matt Smith which put Banbury under real pressure.
Goalkeeper Leigh Bedwell, back for a second spell at the club, did well to keep out a Mark Francis shot as the hosts started to get on top.
But, despite the numerical disadvantage, Banbury doubled the lead.
Shama had gone close to making it 2-0 with a header, but when Walcott was fouled by Pierre in the box, the Banbury man picked himself up and tucked away the spot-kick.
Crucially, the away side were unable to hold onto their advantage at half-time.
Just a minute before the interval, Rhys Baggridge poked home from close range to give Frome a big lift.
Although Smith missed a great chance to level two minutes after the restart, the Somerset side did draw level in the 63rd minute when Mark Francis converted an excellent Ben Thomson pass.
Banbury were visibly tiring and the hosts took advantage, taking the lead with ten minutes remaining when Ricky Hulbert’s cross was converted by Thomson.
Davis threw men forward to try and salvage a point, but Banbury were caught on the break in the final minute when a fine run and cross from Baggridge was finished off by Francis to seal victory.
However, Banbury can take much confidence from the performance.
Banbury Utd: Bedwell, Agathangelou (Twitchings 16), Mzungwana, Westbrook, Strafford, Fishwick, Walcott, Hawtin, Shama (Howards 76), Browne, Evangelinos (Houston 55). Subs not used: Katsouloudi, Tappin.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest Sport news
- Rob Hall sets up two goals on Oxford United return
- UPDATE: New ticket details for Oxford United's FA Cup tie at Merstham announced
- Ex-Oxford United striker Jefferson Louis loving return to area with Oxford City – 32 transfers later
- FOOTBALL: Sam Barder is Didcot’s match-winner while Banbury and Kidlington earn draws and Wantage are thrashed
- FOOTBALL: Mansfield Road stay top of Oxfordshire Senior League
- FOOTBALL: North Berks leaders Berinsfield are in seventh heaven
- FOOTBALL: Damini Bhagat bags five as unbeaten Oxford City girls prove too strong
- FOOTBALL: Oxfordshire Schools are beaten in first match
- Ryan Ledson and Rob Hall to deliver twin boost for Oxford United tomorrow
- GOLF: Eddie Pepperell focused on ensuring losing European Tour card is just a minor setback