Diamonds finally get their Pitching In Southern League season underway on Tuesday evening with a home fixture against Banbury United.
Pitching In Southern League opening weekend
Banbury began their season on Saturday afternoon with a battling 1-1 draw at home to Stourbridge. Former Diamonds litter the Banbury squad and Sam Brown, Ben Acquaye, Morgan Roberts, Jack Westbrook and Chris Wreh all appeared for the Puritans on Saturday. They fell behind to an own goal on just 5 minutes as a missed header from a Stourbridge striker bounced off a defenders leg and over the line. Things got worse just 2 minutes later as Morgan Roberts was rather harshly sent-off but Ben Acquaye grabbed an equaliser on 69 minutes with a thumping strike from distance. Banbury nearly grabbed all three points as Chris Wreh broke clear and struck the post with an angled effort in the final stages.
Leiston and Barwell were the big winners on Saturday in Southern League Central action the former impressively winning 4-0 at Bromsgrove Sporting and Barwell winning 3-0 at Lowestoft. Royston, Coalville, Peterborough Sports, Hednesford, Redditch and St. Ives were the other winners. Stourbridge take on Hednesford on Monday night fighting for early leadership of the league before the rest of the midweek fixtures.
Banbury have been in existence since 1931 when they were founded as Spencer Sports to initially play friendly games. They moved through Oxfordshire and Birmingham leagues changing name to Spencer Villa and Banbury Spencer before settling in West Midlands Regional leagues and then Southern Leagues as Banbury United. They reached the FA Cup first round on 5 occasions losing to Colchester, Shrewsbury, Barnet, Northampton Town after a replay, and Canvey Island just last season.
Diamonds completed their pre-season campaign last Tuesday with an impressive 4-0 win against Daventry Town who opened their own season on Saturday with a 2-2 draw to Chasetown in Northern Premier League Midlands Division. Diamonds won all 4 games in the Harry Robinson Trophy scoring 14 and conceding just one before winning 3 and drawing 3 in other pre-season games. Northampton Town (3-1) and Daventry Town (4-0) were the stand out results and Diamonds ended a 10 game pre-season with 30 goals scored and 6 conceded. Will Jones was the stand-out with 8 goals, Tom Lorraine and Ben Diamonds scored 4 each with Lorrell Smith scoring twice to show Diamonds forwards are in form.
The two sides have met in 4 league games and two FA Trophy ties in recent seasons. 2018/2019 saw a 1-0 victory for Banbury at home noticeable for current Puritan captain Jack Westbrook’s sending off after Steve Diggin’s 2nd minute winner. The game at Hayden Road ended 1-1 with Ben Diamond and Steve Diggin scoring.
In 2019/2020 the sides played 3 times in a week with Diamonds winning the Tuesday night league encounter at Hayden Road 2-1 with Jordon Macleod and now Puritan Morgan Roberts scoring for Diamonds. A 0-0 draw again at Hayden Road on the Saturday in the FA Trophy was followed by another 2-1 win for Diamonds at Banbury in a Tuesday night replay. Tom Lorraine and Jordan Mcleod scoring this time. Banbury got revenge in the final game before lockdown with a 2-1 win in Banbury with Joel Gyasi scoring for Diamonds.
With all the former Diamonds likely to be involved for Banbury and new signing and former Puritan Claudio Dias likely to be involved for Diamonds it should be a feisty entertaining encounter on Tuesday night.
Tickets can be purchased in advance here or by contactless card on the turnstiles (cash will not be accepted).
Radio Diamonds will be broadcasting of course and our usual in match twitter updates and post-match interviews and match report will cover all the action.
Enjoy the game