BANBURY United have signed Aston Villa academy defender Jake Walker on loan ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Royston Town in BetVictor Southern League Premier Division Central.

The full back, who is part of the Premier League club’s Under 23 side and played twice in the Trophy this season, bolsters a squad plagued by injuries and illness.

Puritans boss Mike Ford says Walker’s addition will give his side options as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Peterborough Sports.

He said: “When I reviewed the game last week, I was aware of us being a little bit short and it hit home that we were a bit naïve.

“Bringing in someone of Jake’s calibre gives us that bit of quality.”

“We are a little bit short at the moment, so although he is a young man, this will bring a bit of experience to the side.”

Pablo Haysham (knee) joins the injury list, while Claudio Dias (heel) is ruled out and Lee Henderson (illness) is a doubt.

Ford added: “As a performance last week, we didn’t play badly, but we just didn’t finish our chances.

“When Peterborough got in front, we looked very young, and I just feel Jake’s signing will give us that bit of quality.”

In Division 1 Central, Thame United also have injury issues as they prepare to host Welwyn Garden City.

Dan West is a major doubt after injuring his knee in last weekend’s win at Wantage Town, as are Ben Sturgess and Harry Mepham (groin), while Carl Davies is banned.

However, goalkeeper Craig Hill returns after recovering from a head injury and Jordy Ngathe is set to make his debut after joining from North Leigh.

Boss Mark West said: “We’ve had a few injury setbacks and we’re a bit short at the moment.

“But tomorrow is a massive game against a really good side, so we will need to be on top of our game.”

Didcot Town boss Jamie Heapy wants a response at lowly St Neots Town after last weekend’s 4-2 defeat to Berkhamsted.

Heapy said: “It was disappointing last weekend, but individual errors cost us. You simply can’t give goals away to any team, especially those near the top.

“Tomorrow will be another tough game as St Neots are fighting for their lives, but have been boosted by their new management team.”

Ollie Thomas (ankle) and Josh Pin (hip) remain side-lined.

North Leigh travel to Bedford Town after back-to-back postponements saw them drop to 13th, but with several games in hand.

Ex-Kidlington boss Julian McCalmon has joined the club’s management team, while midfielder Lewis Gabbidon has made the same switch.

Joint manager Craig Dore said: “Lewis brings a lot of experience, but also a great deal of quality to the midfield.

“I’ve seen him play against us and can never fault his work rate. He has a winning mentality, which I feel will rub off on the whole squad.”

Kidlington visit Biggleswade boosted by the arrival of Steve Robertson, who scored 82 goals in 105 games for Wantage.

New boss Ben Sadler, whose first game was last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Bedworth United, said: “Our away form is something that needs to be improve, and I’ll be doing everything I can to help it start this weekend at Biggleswade.”

Will Davidson, Connor Mattiemore and Tobias London are also in the squad, but skipper Tommy Castle (hamstring) is out and centre back Tom Franklin is banned.

After running Thame close last weekend, Wantage Town face a trip to high-flying Berkhamsted.


Banbury Utd (v Royston Tn, away): from Harding, Roberts, Hughes, Walker, Westbrook, Hawtin, Johnson, Awadh, Mills, Shamsi, Odhiambo, Ngaah Bosio, MacDonald, Wright, Fasanmade, Mills.

Thame Utd (v Welwyn Garden City, home): from Hill, Lynn, Mapley, Hackett, Essex, Ashworth, West, Murray, Evans, Simms, Harris, Blake, Toney-Green, Peake-Pijnen, Balogun, Sturgess, Tack, Tutton, Goss.

Didcot Tn (v St Neots Tn, away): from Bedwell, Carnell, Green, Isaac, Nash, Hayden, Silva, Francis, Dark, Reid, Collins, Stanley, Bell, Humphries, Longford, Gilmore, Talboys.

North Leigh (v Bedford Tn, away): from North, Isherwood, Stanley, Learoyd, Gunn, Atkinson, Landers, Alabi, Grant, McNish, L Williams, Gabbidon, Seacole, M Williams, Gillett, Woodley.

Wantage Tn (v Berkhamsted, away): from McKenzie-Lyle, Webster, Tuttle, Fry, Mutero, Regrugui, Singh, Martei, Shakti, McKeon, Sykes, Shaw, Glover, Ibie, Sule, Hartley, Jones, McGory, Broadley, Freeman, Sheppard.

Kidlington (v Biggleswade, away): from Lawrence, Davidson, Peart, West, Flanagan, Tooke, Quainton, Morton, Willoughby, Smith, Patterson, Williams, Benjamin, Mattimore, London, Moore, Robertson.