Ellie Noble puts U's in front but Durham come back to win
Durham 2 Oxford United 1
Durham came from behind to edge to victory in a hard-fought tussle with United in the FA Women's Super League Spring Series.
Ellie Noble put the U’s ahead in the 47th minute, but their lead lasted just 11 minutes before Beth Hepple equalised. With the game drawing to a close, Durham finally nudged ahead, Zoe Ness popping up to strike three minutes from time.
In a first half of few chances both sides were solid, although Emily Donovan’s lob sailing well off target for United was the only effort of note.
With stalemate at the interval, it was Oxford who started the second half quicker and they were rewarded just two minutes in.
Midfielder Noble sent a speculative, bobbling shot goalwards but Rachael Laws was unable to stop it finding the net.
Durham began creating chances of their own as they sought an equaliser, which duly arrived four minutes later, courtesy of Hepple.
The midfielder was on hand to tap home from close range after a low Jordon Atkinson cross was poked past Demi Lambourne by the unfortunate Rosie Lane.
Oxford were proving a danger on the counter and could have been ahead in the 72nd minute but Ini Umotong shot straight at Laws before Evie Gain’s rebound effort was cleared off the line.
However, Durham had the final say three minutes from time, Ness slotting home following a precise low cross from Emily Roberts.
After the game, Oxford United captain, Lauren Haynes, said:
“I think sometimes losing like that is worse than losing 10-0. To go 1-0 up and then lose the game is heart-breaking.
“Once we went 1-0 up, we lost our way a little bit, it was a bit of a lack of experience in the team to just control the game and slow it down and we made mistakes. Durham punished us for our mistakes and got two goals at the end of it.
"If you don’t take your chances, you won’t win games. Chances don’t win games, goals do. It is frustrating we didn’t put it away. On any other day it would have happened but not today unfortunately.
“If you look at our team compared to what we were like last year, we are growing and playing better football and worrying about ourselves more.
“We have got a lot of young players in the team and it’s about getting them involved and finding our feet and finding out what works best.”
Oxford United: Lambourne, Frampton (Kemp), Casley, Lane, Deeley (Roberts), Haynes, Baker (Graham), Noble, Gain, Donovan, Umotong