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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

27 April 2023 Venue Vicarage Road Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

Watford Women FC
2 - 1
Oxford United
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Match Reports

Women Lose To Watford

United beaten 2-1 at Vicarage Road

27 April 2023

Oxford United Women lost 2-1 to Watford Women at Vicarage Road in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division this evening.

Tash Stephens opened the scoring with her head with twelve minutes played, before two second half wonder goals sunk United to only their second defeat of the League campaign.

United saw less of the ball than they’re used to in the opening passages, as the home side moved it around the slick Vic surface.

The U’s absorbed the pressure and found an early lead in the 12th minute. Stephens has scored some important goals since joining in January, but none seemed as important as this one.

Shelly Provan went on a typical marauding run from left back, got her head up and swung an inch perfect cross on to the head of Stephens at the back post, who nodded home to put the U’s ahead.


Leah Burridge was phenomenal in midfield, tidying up the ball and putting United in good positions, and Amy Goddard made an extremely important block as Annie Rossiter cut inside.

In the 38th minute, it looked like the U’s had a second. Watford gave the ball away sloppily from a quick free kick and the U’s worked it out to Daisy McLachlan. She crossed and the ball fell to Jenna Legg on the edge who struck beautifully but sailed just wide of the post.

The U’s held strong, and Rose Kite’s bravery was vital to send them into the break ahead. In the 45th minute she slid in to stop the dangerous Rossiter from getting a strike off and was hurt in the process. That bravery summed up United’s first half, and they deserved to lead at the interval.

The Hornets swarmed after the restart and the U's had to defend steadfastly, Kite making another huge sliding challenge to deny Bee Baptiste with ten minutes played.

Watford had a great chance to level on the hour mark as Poppy Wilson turned in the box but dragged her shot just wide of the left hand post, a let off for United.

Then, in the 66th minute, Watford found the leveller. Baptiste broke down the right latching on to a long ball and fired past Kite in the only way possible from a tight angle, right in to the top corner. Time to step up.

Naomi Cole and Sarah King replaced Taome Oliver and Stephens after the leveller, giving the U's a dangerous weapon from dead ball scenarios, but it was Watford who found the lead next.

Another screamer, this time from the other winger Araya Dennis, who came on at half time, cut inside and fired from thirty yards into the other top corner in the 72nd minute.

Kings's pace caused Watford problems, and Lacy Liggett replaced Burridge in a final roll of the dice, but ultimately they couldn't find a way back into the game.

Defeat, but it's still in the hands of the Yellows. Win their final two games and they'll still be crowned champions. Get behind the U's at Court Place Farm for the final time this season on Sunday against Gillingham.

LINEUP: Kite, Provan, Casley, Goddard, Gotch, Burridge (Liggett 83), Oliver (Cole 66), Legg, Stephens (King 71), Johns, McLachlan

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