FA Cup glory eludes City once again

City’s long running search for a place in the FA Cup 1st Round proper continues after they lost by a single goal to Banbury United at the Spencer Stadium this afternoon. It was a sixth final qualifying round defeat in the last 10 years but they could have no complaints about the result against the Southern League side. The early signs were promising as City enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, winning a series of corners, but it was the hosts who nearly went ahead on 18 minutes when Acquaye looked to have tap-in after Ryan Clarke had parried Rasulo’s initial shot, only for Eddie Jones to produce a brilliant goalline block. The balance of the game began to shift towards the Puritan’s after this and they struck in first half stoppage time. Once again Clarke did well to keep out Wreh’s shot but there was no escape this time as Langmead fired home the rebound. The hosts began the second period strongly, Clarke producing his best save of the game, turning Reilly’s volley over the bar, then Roberts crashing a shot against the understand of the crossbar. The increasingly scrappy nature of the game after this suited Banbury perfectly and, for all their effort, City could never regain the upper hand. Elliott Frear did produce a number of typically threatening crosses as the game went into its final quarter but only a Cody Cooke header that cleared the bar by two yards gave home keeper Harding any real cause for concern. And ten minutes later the referee’s whistle signalled the end of City’s FA Cup hopes for another season.