Haig Avenue laid host to an exciting National League North encounter as Banbury United
defeated Southport 1-0 in front of 996 fans.

The singular goal occurred as Ken Charles made no mistake from 12-yards, successfully converting a spot-kick in the 78th minute after Emmanuel Maja-Awesu was tripped inside the area.

The hosts could not believe they weren’t heading into the interval ahead, as Niall Watson squandered a golden opportunity to break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time.

The feeling of misfortune was a common emotion, as Temitope Obadeyi watched his glancing header strike both posts before being cleared away at the other end.

A low-cross from the right fell to the feet of Watson, who sat the ‘keeper down and was only left to hit the ball home and put his side in-front. He hesitated though, and failed to make complete contact with the ball a yard from the line. He flung a leg at the ball, but could only roll it into the palms of the relieved Jack Harding in the Banbury net.

MerseySportLive on X: “36’ – POST TWICE – Temitope Obadeyi was inches away from an opener. He glanced a header goalward that evaded the keeper’s reach. It rebounded off both posts before being cleared away! #SOUBAN” / X (twitter.com)

At the other end, Louis Hall stood a tempting ball into the danger zone, where the striker
glanced a header goalward, evading the outstretched arms of Chris Renshaw in the
Sandgrounders’ net. It crashed against the inside of the post, rolling across the goal-line
slowly until it rebounded off the other side of the woodwork, before being cleared away.

In the seventh minute of injury time, Jack Harding made an excellent save from Blackpool-loanee, Brad Holmes’ close-range effort. The forward broke free in the area, but was denied by the thigh of the shot-stopper who made himself big in the United net.

The result moves Banbury to tenth, with the Sandgrounders slipping to 20th place. Despite the result, Jim Bentley might be buoyed by a solid performance as Port battled hard throughout the scrappy first half, and created a host of chances. They just lacked composure in front of goal on a chilly Saturday afternoon on Merseyside.