Women face tough test on Thursday night
Oxford United Women begin their FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup campaign on Thursday evening as they welcome fellow WSL 2 side Yeovil Town to Northcourt Road in Group 3. United were beaten 3-0 when the two sides met in the league back in April and manager Les Taylor knows that Yeovil – currently third in WSL 2 – will present a stern test for his side.
“They're a bogey team for us, but they're a good side,” he said. “We've played them three or four times over the last couple of seasons and they're a force to be reckoned with. They're a difficult side, they're third on merit in our division and they've got every chance of knocking on the door for promotion. It's always going to be a difficult game against them, they've got good players in their side.”
The cup campaign offers Taylor a chance to take a look at some of the players who are still yet to feature prominently in the league. With several young and ambitious footballers due a run-out, Les has urged them to take their chance.
“There will be two or three players who come in for this one just to get 90 minutes and they need it, because the first team have been so consistent,” he said. “There may be one or two in the squad who've not played 90 minutes yet this season and they need a game. That's good for me, because for league purposes I need to know that if I bring them on they will do a job for me. There will be one or two changes, but it will be just to get them a bit of game time.”
With matches against WSL sides Bristol Academy and Notts County coming up, which will give the U's a chance to test themselves against several England stars, Taylor believes the competition is something the squad should relish.
He said: "I think all of the girls are looking forward to it, because it's a bit of a challenge and you like to compete against the best sides in the country. Even though we're making a couple of minor changes, we still want to be competitive and we want to progress if we can.”
Kick-off is at 7:45pm at Abingdon United's Northcourt Road and tickets cost just £5 for adults, £2 for under 16s and over 65s and £10 for a family of four – get yours now! Match programmes are available for £2. Younger fans can enjoy lots of footballing fun at Olly's Den, which is open as usual beside the turnstiles.