Dunstable Town were given a clear indication of their tough task ahead when early Southern League Premier leaders Banbury ran out 5-0 winners at Creasey Park on Monday.
There were some positives in the first half at least. For 37 minutes, the Blues held out and looked like going to the interval ‘under the cosh’ but level.
The visitors dominated possession and stroked the ball around well – but were still finding it to break through.
But once they did score they found their task a lot easier in the second half in front of a decent 200 strong crowd.
The initial undoing of Dunstable came when a defensive error allowed Jefferson Louis an easy task of converting. Just before the interval Darren Pond clipped the bar.
Tom Winters scored the second goal with a fine shot into the top right corner – but the ball had run kindly for him out of defence and he had time to size-up the blistering finish he brought off.
There was, from Dunstable, some effort in constructing good moves, with balls out to Gedeon Okito on the left and he got in a cross or two, but there seemed never enough time on the ball to make for a clear chance of a shot on target.
Banbury finished off any realistic chance of a comeback when, after a Dunstable free-kick was dealt with, the ball was sent forward and Pond made it look easier than it was by calmly lobbing the third. Three minutes later Conor McDonagh added a fourth.
Things became worse with Trif needlessly dismissed for his second yellow and on 82 minutes Pond completed the scoring. Dunstable played out the remainder of the game with ten men, which of course added to their difficulties.
With a point gained on Saturday Dunstable sit second bottom, above pointless Gosport Borough who were thrashed 8-0 by Basingstoke.
Garry Malone, Lanre Ladipo, Gedeon Okito, cautioned, Daniel Trif, dismissed for a second caution, John Sonuga, captain, Scott Betts, Ryan Young, Michael Adeyemi, (Sam Odusoga, 65, cautioned), Arel Amu, Brandy Makuendi, (Nimmy Aji, 55, cautioned), Keiran Ogden, (Claudio Silva,65), other substitutes- Justin Koeries and Ben Collins.
Jack Harding, Jack Westbrook, Matt Peake-Pijnen, (Tom Bradbury), George Nash, cautioned, Luke Carnell, Charlie Hawtin, Jefferson Louis, GOAL, 37 minutes, (Connor McDonagh, GOAL, 74, ), Tom Winters, GOAL, 54 ), Darren Pond, TWO GOALS, 71 and 82 minutes, Ricky Johnson, Ravi Shami,(Sam Humphries, cautioned. Other substitutes- Duran Martin, Leam Howards.
Referee- Lee Grimesey, assisted by Ian Stewart and Aaron Fricker.