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London Bees 1 United Women 2

13 July 2015

United come from a goal down to win with injury-time goal

The U's pulled off a stunning comeback to claim a 2-1 victory at London Bees as they resumed their FA Women's Super League 2 campaign in style. Andria Georgiou's first-half penalty put the home side in front, but Kayleigh Hines equalised in sensational fashion early in the second half, before Laura Low hit a stoppage-time winner.
After a lengthy six-week break from league action while the women's World Cup took place in Canada, United returned to action with two changes from the side which had drawn at Aston Villa previously. Helen King came into the side for her first start of the season and Kat Nutman also returned, in place of Hanna Jaadla and Gemma Simmonds.
There was little action in either box in the early stages of the match as both sides brushed off the cobwebs following the six-week break. But the match sprung into life after half an hour when the home side were awarded a penalty for a clumsy foul on Emma Whitter by Isi Meade. United keeper Demi Lambourne dived the right way, but was unable to keep out Georgiou's spot-kick.
The U's almost responded immediately as they quickly broke up the right wing with Katie Stanley, but her cross just evaded both King and Holly Pickett. Moments later Stanley again raced forward before laying the ball off to Ella Franklin-Fraiture on the edge of the box, but her effort was blocked.
With Oxford pressing forward in search of an equaliser, the Bees looked to exploit the subsequent gaps at the back and Lambourne was twice called into action to keep the score down. First she got down well to palm away Amber Gaylor's shot as she broke free, before rushing out to smother as Georgiou raced clear. Lambourne was again the hero for the visitors as she threw herself at the feet of Billie Brooks to keep out her shot after Whitter's clever ball had found her clear in the box.
Having weathered a late flurry of Bees chances at the end of the first half, United needed less than a minute to equalise after the break. Hines picked up the ball wide on the right-hand side of the pitch and, spotting goalkeeper Sophie Harris off her line, unleashed an exceptional 30-yard effort which sailed over the keeper's head and into the net.
King could have put United in front in similar circumstances, latching onto a long ball and striking it immediately, but her effort was just over the bar. But with United pressing forward for the winner, they were almost caught out when the home side ventured forward. Brooks' snapshot took Lambourne by surprise, but the United keeper was able to gather at the second attempt. And Gaylor also went close for the Bees when her shot slipped out of Lambourne's hands, but the U's defence were able to scramble it clear.
United's winner finally came as the match ticked over into stoppage time. Substitute Low raced clear of the Bees back line to meet a dangerous through ball, before striking home from just inside the area to complete Oxford's first-ever double in the Women's Super League.
United: Lambourne, Bruce, Lane, Osborne-Ricketts, Meade, Nutman, Hines, Franklin-Fraiture, Pickett (Timms 76), Stanley, King (Low 86). Subs not used: Cox, Chivers, Pinker.

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