Poor second half sends Lydney to defeat
20 minute spell too much for Town
After the embarrassment of an 8-0 drubbing at Thatcham 2 weeks earlier Lydney travelled to Abingdon in a much more positive frame of mind and despite the absence of Pete Macklin & Jack Rutter both suspended after the Thatcham debacle they were still able to travel with a squad of 16 players. Team selection was boosted by the return of Captain Sam Elliott after injury and the return of Declan Morley-Lyne. Another plus was the return of Niall Halford after injury and he was joined on the bench by Keelan Hamblett, Frankie Johnson, Josh Bennai & Miles Ferguson.
Play was fairly even in the first few minutes and on 10 minutes Lydney’s new signing Toumane Sidibe broke down the right and his cross found Ross Gabriel whose shot was blocked by the home defence. 5 minutes later Abingdon created a good chance but the shot was palmed around the post by keeper Richard Thomas. It was then Lydney’s turn to go on the offensive and Sidibe forced a corner.
Dan Morgan swung the ball into the box where the home defence cleared but only to James Morse whose effort was deflected out for another corner. On 20 minutes Morley-Lyne created a half chance but his shot went over the bar. A minute later Lydney forced another corner which Morgan again swung in but this time the referee blew for a foul on the keeper. On 27 minutes Abingdon almost took the lead through Sam Wharton but Thomas pulled off a double save.
On 37 minutes Lydney broke the deadlock when Lewis Halford broke down the right before playing the ball back to Owen Williams who swung the ball into the box where Gabriel headed home off the post. On 40 minutes Halford broke though the middle and a seemingly foul tackle saw Halford brought down but with the referee waving play on Abingdon broke forward quickly down the left through Wharton who then played the ball back into the path of Thomas Butler who hit a curling unstoppable shot from the edge of the box into the top right hand corner of the net and level the score just before the break.
A minute after the break Lydney were caught cold when in Abingdons first attack of the half the ball was crossed from the left to the far post where Butler found himself unmarked and duly headed home from close range. On 55 minutes a cross to Morley-Lyne on the edge of the box saw him hit a shot goal wards but keeper Edward Cavanagh blocked the effort. On the hour mark Abingdon broke forward quickly and Callum Harvey beat the offside trap to fire the ball home.
In an effort to get back into the game Keelan Hamblett replaced Sidibe in the 65th minute but a minute later the ball was played through to Dejon Noel-Williams who outstripped the Lydney defence and fired home to put Abingdon 4-1 up and complete a disastrous 20 minutes for Lydney. With 15 minutes to go Josh Bennai came on for Kerry Hale and then 5 minutes later Niall Halford replaced Ross Gabriel.
The changes gave Lydney fresh impetus and on 85 minutes a Lewis Halford effort was palmed away by keeper Cavanagh. A minute later Bennai drove at the home defence and laid the ball into Niall Halford who out battled for possession with the home defence and with the ball then breaking to Morley-Lyne he fired home. Lydney kept pushing forward in an effort to retrieve something from the game and on 88 minutes forced a corner but the cross by Morgan into the box came to nothing. In injury time Lydney were awarded a free-kick on the right which Morgan swung into the box but the home defence cleared the ball and the chance was gone.
This was certainly a disappointing result for Lydney’s hopes of pulling themselves clear of any possible relegation issues. On the plus side the return of Declan Morley-Lyne will hopefully give Lydney much needed extra fire power up front while Niall Halfords return from injury after nearly 3 months also gives the team a much needed boost. With 10 league games at home and only 4 away Lydney’s fate is in their own hands.
A run of 4 consecutive home games starts on Saturday with the visit of Highmoor Ibis to the Rec and this is quickly followed on Tuesday night with a local derby against Tuffley Rovers, both games being critical to the Towns Premier Division survival.