Oxford United Women saw their FA Cup campaign for this season come to an end after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers Ladies on Sunday.
Currently leaders of the Women's National League Northern Division, Blackburn looked set to be intimidating opponents but United came out fighting and set a blistering pace from the first minute.
The first half saw some good opportunities for both sides, after a slightly nervy start, before in the final minute before half time a goalmouth scramble in front of the Oxford goal saw the U's gain possession and break downfield where Georgia Timms' shot was well saved by visiting keeper Danielle Gibbons, but the rebound found only the onrushing Evie Gane who tapped it in to the back of the net, taking United into the break with a 1-0 lead.
The second half continued at the same high tempo with some good chances for both sides, but it was Rovers who finally levelled in the 66th minute after a hopeful ball caught United napping and the prolific Natasha Flint made no mistake poking the ball home past the onrushing United goalkeeper Lucy Thomas.
As full time drew near, it was Blackburn who were able to punish United's tiring legs when Flint found herself some space on the edge of the Oxford box to power home her second of the game in the 89th minute.
United threw everything forward and the drama wasn't over yet as keeper Thomas went forward to meet an Ellie Noble freekick into the box but the resulting scramble was poked just wide. Deep into stoppage time United's final chance came as Cat Beaver's flicked header beat Gibbons, but drifted inches wide.
A valiant effort from the Yellows, but time ran out on their FA Cup hopes for this season and it was Blackburn Rovers Ladies who progress to the next round.