BANBURY United boss Mike Ford takes his side into this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup first qualifying round in buoyant mood.

The Puritans won 3-1 at Peterborough Sports in midweek to go top of the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central table.

Banbury entertain Northern Premier League outfit Gainsborough Trinity tomorrow, with boss Mike Ford setting his sights high.

He said: “I think we limped out of the competition last year, and to be honest, we’ve never had any real runs in the FA Cup, so for me, tomorrow is like a cup final.

“We will need to have a right go at Gainsborough, as we don’t want to go up there in midweek for a replay. It’s do or die for us, but it’s the FA Cup, and I want a massive crowd.”

Gainsborough, a famous name in non-league football, have had a patchy start to their league campaign, but Ford says he is only focused on how his team performs.

“As a manager, and for the players, it’s all about the glory, the success and the limelight and being in the shop window,” he said.

“We will know enough about Gainsborough. We’ve had them watched and there is plenty of footage around, but if we do the right things, we will be in control of it.”

Ford is delighted with his team’s start, but knows that they must not let their foot off the gas.

“We were excellent at Peterborough in midweek,” he said.

“We’ve shown fantastic resilience so far. I looked at Peterborough and Bromsgrove as two teams that will be near the top, and so to get six points from them is excellent.”

“The real test for us will come when we fall on our face and have a bad period.

“There will be spells when we have a poor run, and the test will be how we recover from it.”

Ford adds Pablo Haysham to the squad for the first time this season after recovering from injury.

Didcot Town entertain Premier Division South leaders Poole Town on the back of a disappointing midweek result.

The Railwaymen lost 1-0 at Kidlington on Wednesday night, Kaylem Patterson scoring the only goal, and boss Jamie Heapy is looking for a response.

“Poole will be a very strong side and hot favourites to win, but we will be prepared and ready for them,” he said.

“A good run in the Cup would be great for the whole club, it would be a chance to put Didcot on the map and earn some good prize-money too.”

Heapy names an unchanged squad.

North Leigh travel to Southern League Division 1 South side Willand Rovers in the unusual position of being favourites for progression.

The Millers fell to a 2-1 defeat in midweek at home to Halesowen, but have made a decent start to the season, including an excellent 5-1 win at St Neots last weekend, while Willand have lost all five league games so far.

Wantage Town host Premier Division South side Swindon Supermarine after beating Thame Rangers 4-2 after extra time in their midweek replay.

James Webster faces a late fitness test, while new signings Dan James, Elliot King and Ali Thorpe are all in contention for a first start.


Banbury Utd (v Gainsborough Trinity, home): from Harding, Roberts, Okito, Westbrook, Hawtin, Rasulo, Dias, Cayola, Johnson, Henderson, Mills, Odhiambo, Anderson, Gordon, Ngaah, Silva, Macdonald, Haysham.

Didcot Tn (v Poole Tn, home): from Jacucha, Carnell, Dark, Green, Talboys, Nash, Thomas, Reid, Pin, Francis, McNeill, Hayden, Humphries, Mattimore, Collins, Gardner, Bell.

North Leigh (v Willand Rovers, away): from Otuyo, Learoyd, Brown, Gunn, Ngathe, Grant, McNish, Williams, Seacole, Dutton-Black, A Woodley, Hunte, Gillett, Elliott, James, Grant, Cavanagh.

Kidlington (v Hythe & Dibden, away): from Lawrence, West, Martin, Gabbidon, Coyle, Castle, Osborne-Ricketts, Benjamin, Patterson, Willoughby, Williams, Howards, Odhiambo, Singh, Quarterman, Jordan.

Wantage Tn (v Swindon Supermarine, home): from McCready, Lee, Jackson, Cox, Pettet, Buchanan, Markham, Glover, Thorne, Stanley, Dunmall, Hartley, Dalton, White, Fullerton, Thorpe, Mutero, Drammeh, Buchanon.