Women lose 3-0 to Yeovil
Oxford United Women were beaten 3-0 at home by Yeovil Town on Sunday, conceding three second-half goals in blustery conditions at Northcourt Road. Neither side were able to find a way through in a gruelling first half, but goals from Corinne Yorston, Nicola Cousins and Annie Heatherson sealed it in favour of the visitors.
Laura Nichol came in for her first start of the season after missing United's opening two games with a toe injury, while Ella Franklin-Fraiture also returned to the side from a back injury. An injury to Gemma Simmonds meant she dropped out of the side to be replaced by last season's top scorer Lauren Allison, in for her first start of the season.
United captain Sahara Osborne-Ricketts was just a lick of paint from giving the home side an early advantage with ten minutes played after the U's were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position when Ella Franklin-Fraiture was hacked down by Ellie Curson. Osborne-Ricketts scuffed her first attempt, but was granted a second bite at the cherry when it came back off the Yeovil wall, unleashing a delightful curling effort which struck the inside of the post and came back out.
It was a bright start from the home side and again they could have made the breakthrough when Katie Stanley spotted Holly Pickett lurking at the back post, but her cross was cut out by Yeovil goalkeeper Charlotte Hayes.
As half-time approached it was the visitors on the front foot, with United increasingly sitting deeper. Chances were few and far between for both sides, with Oxford unable to get out of their own half and Yeovil unable to break them down. Nicola Cousins had a glorious opportunity to give the away side the lead when she escaped her marker at a corner, only to head over the bar at the back post.
The second half was just three minutes old when Yeovil struck the decisive first blow. A wind-assisted punt forward caught goalkeeper Demi Lambourne off her line as Annie Heatherson got between the onrushing keeper and the ball to lob it over her. Her effort came back off the bar, but only as far as the waiting Corinne Yorston to tap into the empty net.
United responded well and immediately went on the offensive, but they were unable to work any meaningful openings and were hit with a sucker punch just after the hour mark. Helen Bleazard shot narrowly over after a simple ball across the edge of the box had evaded several United defenders, but when they were bizarrely awarded a corner for their troubles Yeovil took advantage. Cousins was again left unmarked in the middle of the box to nod in a straightforward second goal.
And United were undone from another set piece for Yeovil's third, Annie Heatherson prodding in a corner after the home side had failed to clear.
United: Lambourne, Nichol (Meade73), Bruce, Osborne-Ricketts, Lane, Hines, Nutman, Franklin-Fraiture (Pinker 73), Pickett (Low 73), Stanley, Allison. Subs not used: Cox, Chivers, Jaadla.
Report by Matt Bruce.
United's development squad were beaten 3-1 at London Bees in their FA WSL Development League South fixture. Sarah Tierney put the U's ahead after just six minutes, but the lead was shortlived and the hosts added two further goals in the second half to seal defeat.