Oxford United Women took on WSL powerhouse Manchester City Women on Thursday and the visitors made their quality show in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup fixture.
In front of a great crowd of 777, The Yellows started the game with the same confidence that has given them a fantastic start to the WSL 2 season. Setting out to stifle and frustrate their opponents, they proved themselves capable of doing just that.
After 44 minutes of brilliant defensive solidity, City made their breakthrough with a bit of luck. Nikita Parris went over in the box after a clumsy tackle and the referee awarded a penalty, with Issy Christiansen converting from the spot. Straight from the restart United lost possession and Georgia Stanway capitalised to drive the ball home.
Oxford’s best attacking opportunity of the half came through an Ellie Noble half-chance, sending a long range shot just wide after a surging run. Oxford players, including Ella Franklin-Fraiture, Ellis Hillman and Kayleigh Hines provided some fancy footwork, put they couldn’t quite put it together against a formidable City side that included England internationals Steph Houghton, Jill Scott and Parris.
In the second half, City pulled away as United's part-timers tired against their full-time opponents. Goals from Stanway, Claire Emslie, and two from Jen Beattie made the final scoreline 6-0 as the visitors finished their chances ruthlessly.
While the result may have been disappointing, United will be thrilled with their stout defensive performance for most of the first half. It was a fantastic opportunity to welcome one of the best teams in the country to Oxford, and it is a tribute to The Yellows how hard City hard to work to break them down.
United: Lambourne, Hillman, Williams, Short, Yorston (Allen 45), Carlton, Hines, Noble (Baker 77), Franklin-Fraiture, Chivers, Oliver (Gane 77).