Former Bluebirds Captain Faces Cardiff City Supporter

Lifelong Cardiff City fan Gavin Williams goes head-to-head with former Bluebirds captain Mike Ford at Spencer Stadium, Banbury this afternoon.

Defender Ford, who earned two promotions with Cardiff, is manager of Banbury United and they are at home against Williams’ Merthyr Town.

This is the last home fixture for Banbury and Ford says: “I my team to play with freedom, with style and finish our season in the right way.

Former Cardiff City captain Mike Ford is now Banbury United’s manager. Pic: Getty Images.

“The support has been outstanding and we are averaging more than 400 spectators at home games. I’d love us to put smiles on the faces of Banbury fans.”

Banbury were on an outstanding unbeaten run of 11 matches, but crashed 3-0 against St Neots on midweek. That was, though, their fifth match in 10 days and Ford, 52, said: “I can’t fault my players in any way for all the effort they have put in.”

Martyrs’ manager Williams has stabilised the club during what has been a difficult 2017-18 season because of financial problems, but Merthyr Town have regained their competitive edge.

Banbury are almost 150 miles away from Merthyr Tydfil, but the Martyrs have been regular visitors over the course of the last 50-plus years.

Merthyr are the team Banbury have played more than any other during their two spells in the Southern League and this afternoon’s clash is the 29th season the clubs have been in the same division.

The Martyrs have risen through the non-League pyramid rapidly since forming as a club from the ashes of Merthyr Tydfil for the start of season 201011, having climbed from the Western League First Division to now be in their third season at Southern League Premier Division level.

After the Banbury v Merthyr Town match an annual charity match will be played between Atic Athletic and Puritan Radio teams.

Proceeds go to The Katharine House Hospice.

Merthyr Town squad: Ed Hewitson, Adam Davies, Harry Franklin, Scott Tancock, Matthew Harris, Kyle Patten, Jarrad Wright, Ashley Evans, Craig Reddy, Jaye Bowen, Corey Jenkins, Kerry Morgan, Ian Traylor, Owain Jones, Ryan Prosser, Lee Price.

Merthyr Town’s three remaining fixtures 2017-18

April

Sat 21 v Banbury United A

Tues 24 v Bishops Stortford A

Sat 28 v Redditch United H

Southern League Premier Table

# Team Pl HW HD HL AW AD AL W D L F A Diff Pts
1. Hereford 43 18 1 3 15 4 2 33 5 5 102 32 70 104
2. King’s Lynn Town 44 16 5 1 13 4 5 29 9 6 95 37 58 96
3. Kettering Town 43 18 2 1 11 5 6 29 7 7 113 47 66 94
4. Weymouth 44 15 4 3 13 3 6 28 7 9 97 46 51 91
5. Slough Town 43 14 5 3 13 4 4 27 9 7 104 48 56 90
6. Royston Town 43 15 2 4 8 3 11 23 5 15 79 59 20 74
7. Tiverton Town 43 14 3 5 9 2 10 23 5 15 73 64 9 74
8. Chesham United 43 11 6 5 9 5 7 20 11 12 82 56 26 71
9. Banbury United 43 8 7 7 10 6 5 18 13 12 85 56 29 67
10. Basingstoke Town 43 16 3 3 3 4 14 19 7 17 85 67 18 64
11. St Neots Town 44 11 5 6 6 7 9 17 12 15 78 74 4 63
12. Hitchin Town 42 10 4 6 8 4 10 18 8 16 66 60 6 62
13. Frome Town 43 7 4 10 10 3 9 17 7 19 75 87 -12 58
14. Stratford Town 44 7 6 9 8 3 11 15 9 20 67 79 -12 54
15. Biggleswade Town 43 9 5 7 5 5 12 14 10 19 51 56 -5 52
16. Redditch United 44 10 7 5 4 2 16 14 9 21 68 69 -1 51
17. Merthyr Town 43 9 5 8 4 7 10 13 12 18 71 89 -18 51
18. Dorchester Town 43 11 2 9 2 8 11 13 10 20 61 81 -20 49
19. Bishop’s Stortford 43 8 4 9 5 5 12 13 9 21 69 77 -8 48
20. Farnborough 44 8 2 12 6 4 12 14 6 24 78 114 -36 48
21. Kings Langley 44 5 9 8 3 5 14 8 14 22 58 91 -33 38
22. St Ives Town 42 3 4 13 5 3 14 8 7 27 52 99 -47 31
23. Dunstable Town 42 2 1 18 1 3 17 3 4 35 25 132 -107 13
24. Gosport Borough 43 1 4 17 1 1 19 2 5 36 28 142 -114 11

 

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