BANBURY United manager Edwin Stein feels “the buzz is back” after seeing his side come from behind to beat Biggleswade 6-4 in midweek, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
That brought to an end a run of 12 Calor League Premier Division games without a win, as well as securing the Puritans’ status for another year, and Stein admitted he has already begun to look ahead to next season.
He said: “We’ve got our-selves into a sticky situation financially. We’re on the brink of insolvency, and I had to make some difficult decisions.
“I had two options – either refuse to do the job, or accept the realities of the situation.
“I knew I had to use this as a platform to build on for next year.”
Several high-profile players have left the Spencer Stadium since the turn of the year, forcing Stein to field a team comprised almost entirely of teenagers.
But the boss believes he has found the right combination ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Chippenham Town.
“I fielded nine players with an average age of 18 on Tuesday, so it was a pretty impressive result,” he added.
“It’s been a tough time for us having lost lots of big names, but things are starting to come together.
“I’ve not seen such a happy dressing room at Banbury for a long time. We all celebrated together after the game and I really felt that the buzz was back.”
North Leigh manager Mark Gee thinks his side will have to win every remaining match if they are to qualify for the Division 1 South & West play-offs.
The Millers travel to base-ment side Guildford tomorrow ahead of clashes with strug-glers Clevedon and Bishops Cleeve, but Gee feels this is the worst time of the season to be playing sides at the bottom of the table.
“The bottom four are all scrapping for points at the moment, so nothing’s ever easy,” he said.
North Leigh are without Elliot Osborne-Ricketts, who is suspended, plus injured duo Andy Caton and Brian Bowles.
Pablo Haysham will play his last game of the campaign for Didcot Town as they host Godalming Town.
The nine-goal striker picked up his fourth red card this term in the victory over Fleet Town and will miss their final three games of the season.
Josh Baines (back), Matt Woodley, John Mills and Hay-sham (all hamstrings) will all be assessed before the game.
Banbury Utd (v Chippenham Tn, away): from Al-Droubi, Cray, Fathers, Collins, Isaac, Abrahams, Fishwick, Obeng, Dias, Skendi, Pinto, Green, Evangelinos, Strafford, Tappin, Mullarkey.
North Leigh (v Guildford City, away): from McHugh, Hole, Hopkins, Malone, Gunn, Else, McDonagh, Sanders, Williams, Westlake, Walcott, Turk, Bell.
Didcot Tn (v Godalming Tn, home): from Foster, Elkins, Woodley, McKirnan, Heapy, Carnell, Dutton-Black, Franklin, Baines, Longford, Mills, Whitehead, Williams, McLoughlin, Thomas, Haysham, Heapy, Concannon.
* HEADINGTON Amateurs play their first home game in the Uhlsport Hellenic Leaguesince December 7 when they entertain Burnham in the Premier Division tomorrow, seeking a win as they aim for a top-three finish.
Headington (v Burnham, home): Jenkins, Morbey, Nkwanyuo, Lester, Henderson, Brown, B Cuff, Zaja, Payne, Cook, Fowler, Green, Williams, Hedger, L Cuff, Craft.