FOOTBALL: Elkins sees off old teammates

Abingdon United’s Kevin Halliday (left) wins the ball from Sam Elkins in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Didcot Town. Elkins later netted the winner

Abingdon United’s Kevin Halliday (left) wins the ball from Sam Elkins in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Didcot Town. Elkins later netted the winner

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Non League Football. Call me on 01865 425488

Former Abingdon United defender Sam Elkins scored the winner as ten-man Didcot Town claimed the spoils in yesterday’s 1-0 derby success at Northcourt Road.

But the Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West clash could have ended in a draw had Aaron Woodley not struck a post in injury time.

The result saw Didcot record a derby double as they inflicted a sixth straight defeat on Richie Bourne’s side.

The first half was a largely forgettable affair, with Mark James denying Mark Janes the best chance with a brilliant challenge as the Didcot man pulled the trigger.

At the other end, substitute Toby Nowell flashed a shot inches wide of Craig Griffiths’s left-hand post after a super cross from Steve Davis.

On 39 minutes, Didcot were reduced to ten men when Janes was sent off following an off-the-ball clash with Tom Melledew.

However, the dismissal galvanised Didcot, with James Foster bravely diving at the feet of Jamie Heapy as he was about to shoot.

After the break, Didcot kept up the pressure with Foster tipping over a superbly struck free-kick from Morgan Williams, before the referee rejected claims for a penalty when his cross appeared to be handled by James.

Didcot were in command and there was little surprise when they took the lead.

Elliott Osborne-Ricketts lobbed the ball over Abingdon’s defence and Elkins took a touch before rounding Foster and bundling home, despite the efforts of James to keep it out.

Moments later, former Abingdon defender Luke Carnell made a great block to Carl Evans a shot at goal.

Three minutes into injury time, Abingdon almost conjured up an unlikely leveller.

Picking up the ball 25 yards out, Woodley unleashed a ferocious shot that hit a post before rebounding to safety off Griffiths.

Had Abingdon equalised it would have been harsh on Didcot whose ten-man deserved victory for their positive play.

Abingdon Utd: Foster, Riccio, Halliday, James, Thomas, Tucker (Christodoulou 77), Woodley, Melledew, Evans, Biddle (Nowell 18), Davis (Self 52). Subs not used: Ross, Baker.

Didcot Tn: Griffiths, Wray, Stanley, Osborne-Ricketts, Carnell, Henderson, Elkins, Heapy, Janes, Meade, M Williams. Subs not used: Haysham, McKirnan, Allaway, Bernasconi.

Attendance: 155.

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