It has been a difficult week for Clanfield as not only did they lose their unbeaten away record last Saturday, but they suffered the death of one of their players in Jaden Mole and a minute’s silence was observed in memory of Jaden before the game. However they bounced back with a 3-0 win at Abingdon United, a result which enables them to regain top spot in the division.
For me personally it was my first visit to Abingdon United for 33 years and a day when Abingdon won an F A Vase tie 4-1 after extra time. However this was only the third league encounter between the clubs since the 1984/85 season and Clanfield had not beaten Abingdon United in a league encounter since the 1983/84 campaign.
Abingdon United are currently bottom of the table, but have recently appointed a new management team and have recently obtained their first league win and are beginning ti build a squad ti take them up the table, They certainly have the infrastructure to improve things.
The home team made a bright start and looked lively as they penned Clanfield back forcing several corners and with Nite Mitev coming close with a free kick. Clanfield defenders also had to make a couple of important blocks to keep them out. However on the half hour Zak Oliver gave Clanfield the lead with a well struck shot from the right hand side in what was their first chance of any note.
This goal gave Clanfield a lift and they looked very much the better side for the remainder of the half, using Zak Oliver’s pace to good effect and Jack Bellenger also made some good runs on the flanks. Declan Shepperd also forced a good save from the home goalkeeper as Clanfield finished the first half very much in the ascendancy.
Early in the second half Zak Oliver forced another good save from the opposing goalkeeper at the expense of a corner and on another occasion a cross which required a decisive touch eluded everyone. Clanfield were looking the team most likely to score, but Abingdon were having their spells of possession, although their shooting was generally wayward and the only non-routine save that the Clanfield goalkeeper had to make was a shot from Bailey Bone.
Clanfield scored the all important second goal when Josh Gibbens headed home following a corner and it was then the turn of Shepperd to head home for the third.
The only downside for Clanfield was Rory Linford-Pill receiving a straight red card late on.
Clanfield now have three home league games to look forward to, two in the league and one in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup and are holding a race night next Saturday, while Abingdon United are next in action at Bourton Rovers on Saturday.