Peterborough Sports make Banbury cross with a thrilling victory at the Bee Arena
It finished 3-2 to Sports against the side who started the day in second place in the National League North with both sides suffering a red card. The city side have moved up to eighth in the table with four wins from their first eight games, a terrific return in the club’s first season as a step two club.
It was a deserved victory against a team who have followed a title win with a strong start to a higher-level season. Mark Jones scored twice after Jordan Nicholson had opened the scoring.
Sports received an early boost when visiting player Jay Williams was shown a straight red card and that was the signal for the home side to take control.
Outstanding left-back Nathan Fox sent over a couple of grreat deliveries which demanded a finish before Nicholson did open the scoring in the 20th minute. Not for the first time this season the combination of Dion Sembie-Ferris and the scorer opened up a defence with Nicholson taking the ball around the keeper before bundling home.
And it was 2-0 three minutes when Jones prodded home from a corner as Sports looked to turn the screw against depleted opponents.
Nicholson should have restored the two-goal advantage two minutes before the break, but blazed over after latching on to a Jones flick.
But Jones did make it 3-1 early in the second half after Sembie-Ferris robbed a dithering defender and crossed for the centre-forward to sweep home from close range.
It should now have been comfortable for Sports, but ful-back Isaiah Bazeley was sent off in the 50th minute. A few minutes later Crook made a brilliant save.
Banbury now started to dominate the ball, but Sports were a threat on the counter with Nicholson and substitute Michael Gash going close to scoring.
But it took the visitors until the 89th minute to pull a goal back through Jack Stevens which proved too little to late for last season’s Southern Premier Division Central champions.