For the second season running, United’s first league game of the new campaign ended in defeat to Abingdon Town.
The hosts had the game’s first shot. David Stevens’ effort from distance was off target.
Town then had their best spell of the game as Woodley struggled to find their rhythm. Josh Browne saw his half volley excellently saved by stand-in keeper Tim Green. However, the following corner ended with Rhys Kilbane heading in on fourteen minutes.
Minutes later the teams traded chances. Abingdon’s Zach Tull’s curling shot just missed to the left before Jon Malone headed a Max Laschok cross onto the roof of the net.
The visitors’ keeper had a great game. He was called into action midway through the half to gather at the feet of Freddie Barron who had done well to beat several players on the left flank.
On the opposite wing, Harry Swabey had three quick fire chances. The first effort from thirty yards was straight at Omar Edwards-Holmes, the second, also from distance, went wide whilst the final shot was also kept out after a long kick by Green.
United equalised with the last kick of a frustrating half when Laschok got his second of the season, placing past Edwards-Holmes into the right corner from the left side of the box.
HT Woodley United 1-1 Abingdon Town
Despite Woodley starting the half with a lot of the ball, it was the away side who had the first chance after the restart. Matt Coddington, who was an unused United sub on the opening day last season, failed to hit the target.
Town retook the lead on fifty two minutes courtesy of a fine Browne strike that arrowed into the left corner from twenty five yards.
Woodley made a change three minutes later when Stevens made way for Teddy Thomas. This saw Barron take up the most advanced role of United’s midfield three and Thomas play on the left wing.
After Green showed a safe pair of hands to hold a Tull free kick, Woodley completely took hold of the game. Laschok had a shot from the edge of the box blocked before doing brilliantly to wriggle past multiple challenges only to see his cross-come-shot cleared off the line.
With twenty five minutes left, Edwards-Holmes did superbly to get down and turn behind a Laschok effort after the United forward got on the end of a Barron through ball.
Abingdon’s final two chances saw Browne shoot over following a counter attack before Green kept out another Tull free kick, this time diving to his left.
Woodley pressed on for a deserved equaliser. Harry Hawkins set up Swabey who forced a save after a shot on the turn. The same two players then combined with Swabey making minimal contact from the left of the box.
Swabey was at the heart of most United chances. Getting on the end of a fine Laschok pass he tried to round the keeper who did well to claim the ball.
With the game entering the final ten minutes there were claims for a penalty when Laschok took a kick in the process of shooting wide after good play by Thomas and Barron on the right wing.
Edwards-Holmes then showed great athleticism to turn behind a curling Barron strike from the edge of the box after Swabey had passed his free kick square.
It wasn’t to be Woodley’s afternoon as the match fizzled out with a Luke Axton-Hall header missing from a corner whilst a Swabey free kick went into the wall in added time.
FT Woodley United 1-2 Abingdon Town