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Kick off 15:30 (UK)

20 August 2023 Venue Stadium MK Attendance

Kick off 15:30 (UK)

MK Dons Women
2 - 2
Oxford United Women
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Match Reports

Women Draw Season Opener

MK Dons Women 2-2 Oxford United Women. Match Report

20 August 2023

Oxford United Women opened their campaign with a 2-2 draw against MK Dons Women this afternoon.

First half headed goals from Zoe Barratt and Jaime Gotch put the U’s ahead at the break before Laura Mitchell pulled one back for the Dons early into the second period. The home side then equalised at the death through a corner.

This was the first time in over five years that the U’s took to the field without Liam Gilbert on the touchline following his departure in midweek, and they had to weather the early storm.

First Hayley Hoare got an important deflection to turn an MK effort on to the cross bar, before Paris Sercombe made a strong diving save to her left, but it was Interim Manager George Anthony’s side who struck first.

Daisy McLachlan did superbly down the left, cutting inside her full back and delivering a pinpoint cross in to the box. Zoe Barratt ghosted in behind Cat Beaver (the two players having swapped sides over the summer) and planting her header into the bottom left corner against her old side to put the U’s one up in the 9th minute.


The Dons didn’t stand down though, and Cecily Wellesley-Smith made a vital goal line clearance in the 17th minute to keep the game from becoming hectic.

That was massive, as five minutes later the U’s doubled their lead. Lily Stevens (who was excellent in the middle of the park) swung her free kick into the area, and time stood still as Gotch’s flicked header looped over Chloe Sansom and into the back of the net.

The second allowed the U’s some breathing room, who started to move the ball in the way typical of a United side, a philosophy that’s now engrained in the club. Taome Oliver’s energy created chances, Barratt was superb at linking play from the front and the U’s went into the break two to the good.


It wasn't plain sailing though and MK threatened throughout, pulling one back in the 53rd minute.

The U's failed to clear their lines on two occasions and Mitchell headed her effort into the bottom corner to make it 2-1.

Just after the hour mark, summer signing Izzy Cook replaced Sarah King on the right wing to try and regain the two goal advantage.

It became nervy, as expected with a goal in it on the opening day, and MK came very close to levelling it in the 65th minute when Tricia Gould grazed the crossbar on the breakaway.

Cook had a chance to put the game to bed in the 84th minute, beating the offside trap but failing to beat Sansom who came out to smother her left footed effort.

The U's looked like they'd done enough, Sercombe making some huge interventions, but it was late heart break as MK bundled in a corner through Emily Wilson at the second attempt in the 95th minute.

A point on the board, but from a winning position the Yellows will be frustrated it was only that to mark the beginning of a new era at Oxford United Women. 

The Yellows now return to Court Place Farm next weekend as they welcome Abingdon United the FAWNL Cup.

LINEUP: Sercombe, Hoare, Wellesley-Smith, Gotch, Provan, Stevens, Burridge, Oliver, McLachlan (Swaby 85'), Barratt, King (Cook 62')

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