Banbury United 3-1 Alvechurch
By Lewis Glennon
Church suffer late heartbreak
Two stoppage time goals saw Alvechurch fall to a third defeat in a row, as they lost to Banbury United.
Ian Long's side had performed well and spent most of the second half down to ten men having had Dave Bellis sent off. However, late goals from Ravi Shamsi and Steve Diggin denied them of a deserved point.
The game was an even one throughout, although Alvechurch created the best chances early on with Lee Chilton being denied by Banbury keeper Manny Agboola, as well as hitting the bar. Despite this good start though, the hosts took the lead when Greg Kaziboni latched onto a loose ball and fired past Dan Crane.
Alvechurch though continued to impress and equalised just before half-time when a goal mouth scramble ended with Mitch Botfield poking the ball in.
The second half proved to be as entertaining as the first with Crane denying Shamsi and Kaziboni, while Botfield had a shot cleared off the line. However, the game changed when Bellis was giving his marching orders after a tackle on Edmund Hottor.
This led to Ian Long's side withstanding a large amount of pressure with Crane making some key saves. Despite this though, they still posed a threat on the counter-attack with Andre Landell's header hitting the side netting.
In the first minute of stoppage time however, Banbury finally went ahead. Crane pulled of a great save to deny Giorgio Rasulo, but Shamsi was on hand to smash in the re-bound. With Alvechurch then pushing forward a quick Banbury counter-attack was finished off by substitute Diggin to seal the win.
The late goals will be a killing blow for Long and his players, and they will be hoping to end their current sticky patch when they travel to Stratford Town for a fifth meeting of the season on Saturday.