FOOTBALL: Abingdon boss hopes to keep striker Woodley

Oxford Mail: Abingdon striker Aaron Woodley is a transfer target of Division 1 South & West rivals Didcot Town Abingdon striker Aaron Woodley is a transfer target of Division 1 South & West rivals Didcot Town

Abingdon United boss Richie Bourne says he will do all in his power to keep striker Aaron Woodley after local rivals Didcot Town made an official approach.

But Bourne is confident that the former Oxford United youngster will reject a move.

“He has formed a good partnership with Carl Self up front and we are desperate to keep them,” said Bourne.

“I am confident he will stay. I’m expecting him to give the same response to Didcot as he gave to Hungerford – to turn them down flat.

“If he’s going to turn down Hungerford who have twice our budget, I can’t see him going to Didcot.

“If he did move, I could only see him going to a club in a higher league.

“But nothing is ever certain in football.”

He added: “I was not happy with the way Hungerford made their approach.

“They spoke to him before they were allowed to do so, I thought they were very unprofessional.”

Meanwhile, Abingdon will be without the suspended Sam Tucker when they travel to Paulton Rovers in Division 1 South & West.

While Didcot manager Gary Elkins hopes to bring in Woodley, he looks to have missed out on signing Stefan Brown on loan from Blue Square South side Basingstoke Town.

He had aimed to give him his debut when they travel to Mangotsfield United, but it was shelved after Basingstoke Delano Sam-Yorke was sent off, leaving them light upfront.

Elkins said: “We are creating plenty of chances, but not putting enough away, so playing two strikers (Woodley and Brown) with their vast experience would have been great.”

Didcot will be without Lewis Noble, so Conor Harris and Taylor Janes are added to the squad. North Leigh boss Mark Gee says his team can use Monday’s Red Insure Cup triumph at leaders Hungerford as inspiration for the trip to Clevedon Town.

Gee’s team have not won in the league for five games, but he feels a win is just around the corner.

“I thought we were decent against Paulton on Saturday,” said Gee. “We defended resolutely and looked dangerous going forward.

“I don’t think there is too much wrong. We’ll just approach the game in the same positive way as we usually do.” Tomorrow’s squads Didcot Tn (v Mangotsfield, away): Belloli-Pereira, Heapy, Stanley, Thomas, Brown, L Williams, M Williams, Osborne-Ricketts, Haysham, Clark, Harris, Janes, Con-cannon, Pereira.

North Leigh (v Clevedon, away): from Warrell, Hole, Caton, Turk, Franklin, Westlake, Sanders, Shepherd, Mills, Brooks, Hopkins, Alexis, Deabill, Organ, Clark, Else. Abingdon Utd (v Paulton Rovers, away): from J Foster, Baker, Crudup, Carnell, Halliday, Biddle, Nowell, Melledew, Whitehead, Self, Woodley, Young, Evans, Taplin, Riccio.

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