U's return from long trip empty handed
Oxford United Women returned from their long trip to Durham empty-handed after being narrowly beaten 2-1. First-half goals from Beth Hepple and Jordan Atkinson put the hosts two goals up at the break and although Ella Franklin-Fraiture pulled one back for the U's in the second half they couldn't force the equaliser.
The hosts piled on the pressure in the early stages and took the lead after 20 minutes from the penalty spot. Jordan Atkinson went down in the area under a challenge from Jess Frampton and Hepple made no mistake from the spot, sending goalkeeper Demi Lambourne the wrong way and burying the spot-kick in the bottom right-hand corner.
Durham doubled their advantage 11 minutes before half-time. Lambourne did excellently to keep out Sarah McFadden's snapshot on the turn, but there was nothing she could do to prevent Atkinson nipping in to tuck away the rebound.
At the other end, Ellie Noble was denied a second goal in as many games by the woodwork. Ini Umotong seized on a sloppy backpass before laying it back for Noble, who was unlucky to see her effort come back off the base of the post.
Ella Franklin-Fraiture handed the U's a lifeline just after the hour mark, bundling home following a scramble in the Durham goalmouth. But despite a determined display, the equalising goal just wouldn't come for the U's, who will look to bounce back away to Everton in a fortnight.
United: Lambourne, Frampton, Haynes, Casley, Lane (Deeley 17), Umotong, Allison, Franklin-Fraiture (Nutman 67), Rafferty, Lee, Noble (Pickett 56). Subs not used: Cox, Weston.