MIKE Ford hopes Banbury United can steal a march on their play-off rivals when they host St Ives Town tomorrow.

The Puritans sit third in BetVictor Southern League Premier Division Central, but several teams around them are in FA Trophy action and Ford knows a positive result could prove vital in the weeks ahead.

He said: “We have a heavy fixture schedule coming up, but we need to make the most of the games we have to come and tomorrow is a big game.”

Defender Jack Westbrook was unavailable for last week’s 0-0 draw at Lowestoft Town but returns to the squad, while Charlie Hawtin could also be back after recovering from illness.

Amer Awadh has a hamstring injury, while Ricky Johnson (knee) and Mo Ahmed are also out.

In Division 1 Central, Jamie Heapy is confident Didcot Town can turn their season around at Coleshill Town.

The Railwaymen’s 4-1 midweek loss to Chesham United in the Southern League Cup was their fourth in a row, but several players are returning to fitness and Denilson Silva could make his full debut.

Heapy said: “Denilson joining us has given us a lift, and I’m looking forward to getting near my full-strength team out on the pitch tomorrow for the first time this season.”

“We are going through a tough spell, but this has given me even more determination to get things right and push ourselves up the table.”

Liam Talboys is a major doubt, while Josh Pin (hip) remains sidelined.

North Leigh joint-boss Craig Dore believes they can challenge for the play-offs after last weekend’s excellent 3-2 win at Aylesbury United.

The Millers are just five points off third place and are unchanged for tomorrow’s trip to AFC Dunstable.

Dore said: “After Dunstable, we have four or five games against sides I would always back us to win, so it’s a crucial period coming up.”

Matt Biddle believes Wantage Town are moving in the right direction after putting in an improved display in last weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Biggleswade.

The joint-manager said: “The goals we conceded were from individual errors that can be worked on, but we looked much more dangerous in attack.”

Ross Roberts is out of Wantage's trip to Daventry Town after suffering serious ankle and knee ligament damage against Biggleswade.

Dan James (knee) is also sidelined, but new signings Joey Broadbank, Danny Langford and Liam Baker could feature.

Kaylem Patterson, Anaclet Odhiambo, Tommy Castle, Tommy Franklin and Harry Williams could all return as Kidlington visit Welwyn Garden City.

Thame United are without a game as their scheduled opponents Halesowen Town are in FA Trophy action.


Banbury Utd (v St Ives Tn, home): from Harding, Roberts, Odhiambo, Westbrook, Hawtin, Rasulo, Henderson, Haysham, Dias, Mills, Gordon, Nesbitt, Cayola, Isaac, Chong.

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

Didcot Tn (v Coleshill Tn, away): from Bedwell, Thomas, McNeill, Carnell, Green, Isaac, Humphries, Nash, Hayden, Silva, Francis, Dark, Reid, Collins, Stanley, Gilmore, Mattimore, Bell.

Wantage Tn (v Daventry Tn, away): from McKenzie-Lyle, Webster, Tuttle, Lee, Glover, Jones, Fry, Mutero, Newbrook, Buchanan, Shaw, McGory, Roberts, Gorman, Pomroy, Broadbank, Baker, Langford, Drammeh, Shoyoye, Burton.

Kidlington (v Welwyn Garden City, away): from Lawrence, Blackstock, Flanagan, West, Martin, Gabbidon, Coyle, Castle, Benjamin, Patterson, Howards, Willoughby, Eric Odhiambo, Osborne, Ricketts, Williams, Blackstock, Anaclet Odhiambo, Franklin.