Peterborough Sports beaten and outplayed by the likely champions

The probable Southern League Premier Division Central champions were on parade at the Bee Arena tonight (December 21).

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 10:59 pm
Liam Bennett (blue) in action for Peterborough Sports against Banbury. Photo: James Richardson.

Sadly for Peterborough Sports it’s Banbury United who must be hot favourites to finish on top. They won the big game betwen third and first 3-2, although the single goal margin of victory flattered only Sports.

Banbury were 2-0 up inside 16 minutes and replied to a Dion Sembie-Ferris strike in the 21st minute with a third goal just over 10 minutes later. The visitors also missed a penalty during a dominante first half display.

It was then cruise control for most of the second-half for the visitors with a cracking free kick goal from Sports substitute Dan Jarvis not arriving until the 94th minute and after fellow replacement Lewis Hilliard had been sent off for a high challenge. Remarkably, given how comfortable Banbury were defensively on a shocking playing surface with former Posh centre-back Kelvin Langmead playing strongly, the third Sports’ sub Mark Jones almost equalised with a header that required a tip around the post.

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Josh McCammon on the ball for Peterborough Sports against Banbury. Photo: James Richardson.

That would have been a travesty as Banbury looked a class apart for the opening 45 minutes. Half of their team arrived at the ground late because of traffic congestion forcing a 15-minute delay to kick-off, but the visitors were still far sharper, far quicker and far more aggressive from kick-off.

Morgan Roberts opened the scoring for Banbury with a simple finish on 10 minutes before Chris Wreh - the son for former Arsenal and Liberian international forward Christopher Wreh barged his way through for a well-taken second goal.

A strong run and precise cross from Josh Moreman gave Sembie-Ferris a far post tap-in, but, following a bizarre three-minute delay as the referee, some home fans and a Banbury member of staff exchanged words, Jordan Williams was left unmarked to nod home a 34th minute corner.

The game became scrappy and niggly after the break with chances few and far between at either end, although Sports’ ‘keeper Paul White reacted well to keep out a smart effort from Wreh.

Dion Sembie-Ferris has just scored for Peterborough Sports against Banbury. Photo: James Richardson.

Hillard’s departure in the final minute looked like the end of Sports’ hopes until Jarvis scored direct from a free kick. There was still time for Jones to go close, but Banbury finished the game five points clear at the top and nine points ahead of Sports who were suffering a fourth defeat in six outings. There was consolation of a bumper crowd of 415.

Sports have another big home game at the Bee Arena on Monday, December 27 (3pm) when in-form sixth-placed neighbours Rushden & Diamonds are in town.

Peterborough Sports: White, Bennett, Kelly (sub M. Jones), Fryatt, McGowan, Lawlor, McCammon (sub Hilliard), Sembie-Ferris, Moreman, Gash, Sani (sub Jarvis).