Oxford MailFOOTBALL: Abingdon's 15-minute nightmare (From Oxford Mail)

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FOOTBALL: Abingdon's 15-minute nightmare

A DISASTROUS 15-minute first-half spell, during which they conceded three goals, finished off Abingdon United’s chances in their Divison 1 South & West game at Shortwood on Saturday.

Abingdon, whose recent good run had lifted them into the top half of the table, went close early on when Luke Cuff’s strong header from a corner was cleared off the line.

But Shortwood then went on the attack and began to run the visitors ragged.

In the 23rd minute, Luke Gullick hit a speculative lob from 25 yards that went over back-pedalling keeper James Foster and dropped under the bar.

A minute later, Gullick appeared to have scored again, when Foster scooped the ball back after parrying the Shortwood striker’s strong shot.

Although the officials waved play on, there were huge appeals that the ball had crossed the line.

Soon after, Abingdon conceded a penalty when a block by Luke Carnell was harshly adjusted as a handball – even though the ball was blasted at him from only a yard away.

James Coates gave Foster no chance with the spot-kick.

Ten minutes later, Shortwood made it 3-0 through Gullick after Abingdon failed to deal with a long ball.

Gullick missed a great chance of a hat-trick, shootingjust wide. Abingdon made two chan-ges at half time with Chris Baker coming on for Kevin Halliday and Stuart Young for Ben Whitehead.

Despite threatening, Abingdon were too far behind. Carl Self got between two defenders for a header, but it looped over the bar on the hour.

There was little goalmouth action after that, although Foster had to save well from Tim Haddock late on.

Abingdon Utd: Foster, Riccio, Crudup, Carnell, Halliday (Baker 45), Melledew, Nowell (Biddle 60), Tucker, Woodley, Self, Whitehead (Young 45). Subs not used: Bourne, Christodolou.

Attendance: 57.

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