Oxford United Women were left frustrated this afternoon as they fell to their second defeat of the season at the hands of Watford Ladies, despite Georgia Timms giving them a half-time lead. Watford equalised 10 minutes into the second period and then snatched a late winner.
United started on the front foot and in the fourth minute Watford were grateful to goalkeeper Veronika Baranousa for a flying save to deny Laura Hennessey and then a follow-up save to keep out Georgia Timm's close-range effort. Baranousa then made an even better save four minutes later to keep out another piledriver from Hennessey as United made all the early running.
United made their early dominance count in the 19th minute. A defence splitting pass from Ellie Noble found Georgia Timms, beating the offside trap. She held off the covering defender and picked her spot to place the ball unerringly past Baranousa to give the U's the lead they deserved.
Watford almost had an instant response when first a long-range effort went inches over the bar and then Helen Ward poked the ball past Lucy Thomas but just wide of the post. In the 39th minute they carved out their best opening as Katie O'Leary played in Ward but Thomas made a reaction save to deny her goalbound effort.
Watford had to wait until ten minutes into the second half before they hauled themselves back in the game. A hopeful cross was headed away by Steph Bent but the ball fell invitingly for O'Leary, who hammered home to give the visitors the equaliser.
Oxford continued to pass the ball well and use the flanks effectively and on 70 almost took the lead again when Emily Allen outpaced Lauren Pegg on the right wing and sent over a low cross that Timms could only direct straight at Baranousa. Then on 82 the U's went even closer when a misdirected header found Timms whose shot, from a very tight angle, came back off the foot of the post.
In the 87th minute, though, United were undone when they fell behind to a sucker punch as Leanne Bell picked out Ward who buried her shot past Thomas into the corner of the net to condemn the U's to their second defeat of the season, despite a late Lauren Allison effort that Baranousa parried away.
While this was a disappointing result for United, who were arguably the better team over the 90 minutes, they have an immediate opportunity to get back to winning ways when they welcome Milton Keynes Dons Ladies to Court Place Farm on Tuesday evening (7.45pm). With no midweek game for the men's side, come along and support the team.
United: Thomas, Roberts, Mobbs, Haynes, Bent, Allen, Noble, Fyfe, Hennessey (Allison 63), Timms, Baker