U's go ahead but Watford strike back for all three points
Oxford United Women were defeated by Watford Ladies on Sunday afternoon, as The Yellows returned for their first home fixture in four games.
After a nervy opening five minutes, United found their footing and began to control the game. In the 7th minute they had their breakthrough; a free-kick was floated forwards and Lauren Allison flicked a neat ball over her head towards the six yard box. Ellie Noble found herself unmarked and headed the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper and into the net.
Watford wrestled back control of the ball and on the 19th minute they had their equaliser. A free-kick of their own was floated in towards the box, Rinsola Babajide managing to flick the ball on and Charlotte Kerr prodded it in, off the bar, from two yards out.
Oxford defenders Riva Casley, Rosie Lane, Jess Frampton and Evie Gane were put under the cosh by Babajide and fellow forwards Leah Cudone and Kerr. The defenders handled them very well for the most part, and made some fantastic last-ditch tackles and blocks.
As the first half played out it turned into a tight, scrappy affair with free-kicks being given to both sides frequently.
The second half started with a golden opportunity for Oxford striker Allison. She was played through one-on-one with goalkeeper Jo Fletcher, but her attempted chip went just inches over the bar.
The flow of the game followed the same pattern as the first half: a midfield battle typified by fouls.
In the 77th minute Watford scored their winner. Babajide with terrific wing play down the left putting the ball on a plate for Kerr to flick in her second goal of the game.
Oxford threw everything at their opponents in the last 10 minutes, both Frampton and Donovan having their long-range shots saved well by Fletcher. At the other end of the pitch, Demi Lambourne made three brilliant saves to give her team a chance of coming away with something.
Unfortunately for the Yellows it was not to be, as they couldn’t force their way through during the six added minutes at the end of the game.
Oxford United Women play their final game of the season at home against Doncaster Rovers Belles on 21st May. Kick off is at 2pm and you can buy your tickets in advance.
United: Lambourne, Frampton, Casley, Lane, Gane, Noble, Franklin-Fraiture, Donovan, Baker (Oliver 60), Allison (Roberts 69), Pickett