United women go down 2-0 at Millwall Lionesses
United continued their Spring Series campaign at Millwall Lionesses this evening but they were unable to replicate the men's heroics from earlier in the day as they fell to a 2-0 defeat, despite some enterprising football in the second half. This leaves the U's still without a win in this brief spring season.
Oxford, without the suspended Ini Umotong, and also without injured captain Lauren Haynes and absent full-back Jess Frampton, found it difficult to break down the Millwall defence despite some good passing passages.
United started well and had their first shot on goal through Ella Franklin-Fraiture, bringing out a save from Sarah Quantrill. Unfortunately, the side's good work was undone in the 36th minute when Ella Rutherford broke the deadlock, getting on the end of a through ball and giving Lucy Thomas in goal no chance with a good finish.
Rutherford almost grabbed a second for the Lionesses in the 53rd minute when she had time in the area to turn and shoot but this time Thomas was equal to it, pulling off a good save to deny the Millwall forward.
In the 63rd minute United had a good chance to draw level when Emily Donovan was brought down on the edge of the area. Riva Casley's free kick beat the wall but Quantrill got her positioning right and made the catch. Three minutes later the U's spurned a glorious opportunity when a corner fell invitingly for Georgia Timms but she was unable to keep the ball down and shot over from eight yards with just Quantrill to beat.
Sub Maddie Lee was grateful to Thomas after her backpass fell short in the 80th minute and Rutherford was on it in a flash, but the keeper was out quickly to gather the loose ball. But just two minutes later, captain Rosie Lane brought down Charlie Devlin to concede a penalty that was converted by Bonnie Horwood to double Millwall's lead and undo the good work that United had done in the second half.
Two minutes later Leanne Cowan could have put the game to bed when she met a right-wing cross ten yards out but could only volley over an empty goal.
With five minutes remaining Roberts was set free down the right and her well-struck shot from a tight angle was well smothered by Quantrill but that was Oxford's last chance in a game of few opportunities and the Yellows remain looking for their first win.
United: Thomas, Baker (Lee), Donovan, Gane, Roberts, Timms (Pickett), Deeley, Oliver (Lee), Franklin-Fraiture, Casley, Lane
Report by Martin Brodetsky, Photos by Darrell Fisher