Full time report as Women lose to the Magpies
t was a night to forget for Oxford United Women in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup last night as they went down 6-1 to a strong Notts County side at Northcourt Road. Jess Clarke notched a hat-trick for the visitors and Rachel Williams also scored, with United keeper Demi Lambourne adding an own goal. Helen King did get the U's onto the scoresheet late on, but Ellen White compounded Oxford's misery with an even later sixth goal.
United boss Les Taylor made five changes to the side which lost 3-0 at Birmingham City on Sunday, with captain Sahara Osborne-Ricketts, Helen King, Laura Low and Lauren Allison all returning to the side, while Lindsay Pinker came in for her first start of the season after coming off the bench at the weekend. Rosie Lane, Kat Nutman and Holly Pickett dropped to the bench, while Kayleigh Hines and Katie Stanley missed out altogether. There were also debut appearances from the bench for Rebecca Dandridge and Sophie Baker.
Up against a strong full-time outfit, which included England internationals Laura Bassett, Alex Greenwood and Siobhan Chamberlain, United defended stoutly for half an hour. Goalkeeper Demi Lambourne had to be on her toes in the early stages to keep out Dani Buet, who struck the outside of the post with a corner before seeing her follow-up effort well held by the Oxford keeper.
United were again indebted to Lambourne shortly after, as she palmed away Rachel Williams' fierce curling shot before twice denying Aileen Whelan on the rebound, gathering at the third attempt. Jess Clarke skimmed one effort off the crossbar, but that proved to be just a practice as moments later she finally gave the WSL 1 side the lead. Collecting the ball just inside the United area, she skipped around one challenge before firing past an unguarded Lambourne.
Rachel Williams doubled their advantage just five minutes later following a quick break up the left-hand flank, outpacing the Oxford defence before deftly chipping the ball over a prone Lambourne. Williams could have had another immediately after the restart when she found herself unmarked six yards from goal, but her header was excellently stopped by Lambourne.
But the third goal would come just before half-time when Clarke went down just inside the United area, with referee Tim Donnellan pointing to the spot. The County forward picked herself back up to take the spot-kick, sending Lambourne the wrong way with a low drive into the left-hand corner.
Just before the hour mark, Clarke completed her hat-trick, racing onto a hopeful punt forward to slip the ball in at the back post. And the fifth followed shortly after when Lambourne – who had otherwise had a very good game – punched into her own net from a corner.
U's fans were finally given something to cheer about five minutes from time when a corner ball was headed on by substitute Sophie Baker – her first touch for United's senior side – to find Helen King waiting at the back post to bundle it in.
But the visitors were to have the final say when Ellen White was allowed to race free, rounding the keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net.
United: Lambourne, Meade, Osborne-Ricketts, Lee (Baker 82), Nichol, Pinker, Franklin-Fraiture (Dandridge 68), King, Low (Pickett 85), Allison, Toussaint. Subs not used: Cox, Lane, Nutman.
Report by Matt Bruce.