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Match Reports


9 October 2023

Match Reports


9 October 2023

JOSH Walker and Deji Oshilaja both grabbed first League goals of the season in a 2-1 win over Cambridge United.

Albion made it back-to-back victories for the first time this season as they eased themselves five points clear of the bottom four with a strong first half performance. Walker was on the mark early with a predatory finish at the back post before Oshilaja doubled Albion’s lead before half time. Cambridge came back strongly and gave themselves a chance when Fejiri Okenabirhie netted midway through the half and were pressing for an equaliser that would not come as Albion defended superbly.

With Bez Lubala suspended after two yellow cards last time out against Wigan, Albion were forced into at least one change. Josh Walker was summoned from the bench to take over as the spearhead of the attack whilst Mustapha Carayol was preferred to Josh Gordon out wide. Mark Helm, originally selected, ultimately did not make it through the warm-up, struck down by illness before the game so Ciaran Gilligan stepped up to start.

Joe Powell quickly threatened to pick off where he left off against Wigan when a stray pass was picked off byOshilaja and set up nicely for the midfielder who drilled a 25-yard effort just wide.

After a bright start Albion took the lead on ten minutes. Carayol’s cross eluded everyone in the middle but was gathered in by Baah on the opposite side. He worked room for a drilled low cross that was finished at the back post by WALKER.

While Cambridge were seeing a lot of the ball it was Albion looking the sharper in the final third and a second goal almost came from a set piece, Oshilaja getting his head to Powell’s corner only for a defender to deflect it wide.

Cambridge went close moments later, Tom Hamer with a last-ditch challenge to help Okenabirhie’s effort over the crossbar and from the corner the pressure was still on, Jack Lankester denied by Max Crocombe at full stretch to his right.

Albion doubled their lead just after the half hour when OSHILAJA pounced on a loose ball after Baah had again caused problems on the right and Gilligan had helped it into the path of the skipper.

Cambridge pushed for a goal to get them back into contention before the break but Albion’s defence held firm to go into half time with a two goal cushion.


Cambridge started the second half purposefully and had Albion penned back in the early stages. They really should have halved their arrears on 49 minutes when a scramble in the six yard box came to the feet of James Brophy but he lashed wildly across the face of the goal.

Jack Stevens kept Cambridge in it with an excellent stop on 56 minutes diving full length to his left to push away a wickedly teasing cross from Carayol.

Walker lasted until the 65th minute on his return to action and was replaced by Josh Gordon.

Cambridge had a route back into the game midway through the second half when OKENABIRHIE nodded in from close range at the back post from a corner.

Albion turned to the bench again on 77 minutes with Carayol tiring and it was the fresh legs of Mason Bennett that Albion turned to.

And with the game ticking towards the final ten minutes Rekeem Harper and Jake Caprice were added as Oshilaja and Baah went off after sterling shifts.

Gordon raised the game from something of a lull as the game moved into the final five minutes with a rasping angled drive that Stevens had to help over the bar.

Seven added minutes were signalled at the end of the game with Albion under pressure from the visitors looking strongly for an equaliser but Crocombe was afforded maximum protection from his defence as Albion held out for another important win to extend the unbeaten run to six games.

ALBION: Crocombe; Hamer, Hughes, Sweeney, Seddon; Powell, Oshilaja (Harper, 80), Gilligan; Carayol (Bennett, 77), Walker (Gordon, 65), Baah (Caprice, 81).

Substitutes: Blackman, Chauke.

GOALS: ALBION – Walker (10), Oshilaja (31) ; CAMBRIDGE – Okenabirhie (67)

Referee: Benjamin Speedie

Attendance: 2,296

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