OXFORD City and Banbury United are relishing the chance to finish their seasons with silverware.

The sides meet in tonight’s Oxfordshire Senior Cup final at Court Place Farm (7.30).

City are bidding to defend the trophy, while Banbury have not triumphed since their penalty shoot-out victory over North Leigh in 2015.

Mark Jones knows his side, who completed their Vanarama National League South campaign by beating Dartford, are favourites.

But he insists City can ill-afford to take Banbury, who finished 17th in Evo-Stik South League Premier Division Central, lightly.

“It’s a good game to finish with,” said Jones. “We want to try to retain the trophy.

“We have the greatest of respect for Banbury – they have a good manager and players.

“There’s quite a bit of an ex-Oxford City connection and we’re looking forward to seeing those guys.

“It will be a tough game, we’re going to have to make sure we prepare professionally and make sure we’re on our game.

“Anything less than that and we probably won’t get the result we want.”

Banbury beat Ardley United to reach their first final in four years.

And boss Mike Ford, whose side were beaten by Hitchin Town in their final league game, is looking forward to seeing how his players match up against higher opposition.

He said: “I’ve been the manager here for four years and we’ve not been in a final yet.

“It would be a nice reward for our supporters.

“Providing we win, it’s a good way to finish the season off.

“We’re obviously playing against a side who are in good form, but we’ll try to make life difficult for them.”

Court Place Farm was chosen as the venue before the semi-finals and Jones accepted playing on their home artificial surface gives City an upper hand.

He said: “We’ve obviously got a little bit of an advantage.

“It would usually have been at a neutral ground, but both clubs agree that our facility at this time of the season is probably the best around.

“We wanted, with the greatest of respect, to know we would be playing on a good surface rather than being on an awful pitch.”

Puritans boss Ford added: “It gives them a massive advantage.

“We play on an artificial pitch maybe two or three times a year and they get the opportunity more than 20 times and train, but it will not be used as an excuse.”

Banbury will be without the injured Charlie Wise (back), while Amer Awadh is a doubt with a muscle strain and Matt Taylor is cup-tied.

Eddie Jones returns to City’s squad, but Brandon Thomas-Asante is ineligible after his loan spell from Milton Keynes Dons ended on Saturday.


Oxford City: from King, Self, Case, Ashby, Moore-Azille, Oastler, Wiltshire, Fleet, Tshimanga, Bawling, McEachran, Fasanmade, Caro, O’Donoghue, Carter, Jones.

Banbury Utd: from Harding, Nash, Hawtin, Richards, Johnson, Kaziboni, Henderson, Whitehead, Rasulo, Hottor, Odihambo, Heapy, Barnett, Awadh.