FOOTBALL: Carnell and Durrant star for Abingdon United

Bicester Advertiser: Abingdon United’s Matthew Biddle tries to get past Evesham’s Jamie Hyde Abingdon United’s Matthew Biddle tries to get past Evesham’s Jamie Hyde

LUKE Carnell’s second-half header and a Rob Durrant penalty save saw Abingdon United claim their first win in Division 1 South & West this season at Northcourt Road on Saturday. After an even opening, Evesham had the ball in the Abingdon net after 15 minutes, but Leigh Downing’s header was ruled out for offside.

Abingdon’s young side were passing the ball well with Leon Bird looking threatening.

And Carnell served warning of what was to come with a header from a Kevin Halliday free-kick, which Henry Eze cleared.

And three minutes into the second half, a carbon-copy situation saw Abingdon take the lead.

The home side were awarded a free-kick for an innocuous foul on Sam Tucker 25 yards from goal, and Carnell headed his second goal in two games from Halliday’s delivery.

Evesham pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but Carnell and Danny Crudup stood firm to keep them at bay, while Durrant handled well behind them.

The visitors were presented with a golden opportunity to equalise in the 77th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Crudup brought down Marcus Palmer with a mistimed tackle, and was sent off. Leigh Downing took the spot-kick, but was denied by the excellent Durrant as he dived to pull off a superb save.

Evesham continued to press, but they couldn’t break down a resolute Abingdon defence and their frustration came to a head in the final minutes when Roland Agbor pushed an elbow into a defender’s face and was sent off.

That made it easy for United to hold out for the final whistle and take all the points.

Abingdon Utd: Durrant, Baker, Crudup, Carnell, Halliday, Evans, Tucker, Biddle, Bird, Self (Nowell 28), Whitehead (Riccio 68). Subs not used: Christodolou, Butler, Small.

Attendance: 103.

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