Oxford United Women made it two wins from two post-season friendlies at Court Place Farm on Sunday thanks to a Watford own goal plus two strikes from Carly Johns who engineered a second half comeback for United to clinch a 3-1 victory.
The game was an exciting end-to-end contest between two National League rivals Watford in the Oxfordshire sunshine.
Hannah Mackenzie’s powerful header from a Haynes corner nearly established an early lead for The U’s inside ten minutes, however the defender’s effort was bravely deflected off the goal line by a swarm of Watford bodies.
With United goalkeeper Paris Sercombe alert to Watford’s early chances, it was her opposite number who came to the rescue on 29 minutes; Emily Allen’s point-blank shot being saved following a low cross from McLachlan.
However, United’s resolute defence was breached when the ball nestled into the top right corner of the net on the half hour mark, the elusive first goal of an energetic game going to the visitors.
A galvanised United side returned to action for the second half and mounted pressure on Watford from the very first moment of the restart, forcing a number of corners. As a result, among a sea of bodies The U’s forced a mistake from the visiting defence; an own goal deflecting into the net to restore parity.
It was Johns who was firing on all cylinders during the final quarter of the game to earn United the victory; the young forward poised at the penalty spot on 75 minutes to slot away into the bottom left corner and put The U’s in the driving seat.
Almost ten minutes later it was Johns again who angled a low and powerful shot into the far corner of the net from the right edge of the box,making it 3-1 to United as the game drew to a close.
The last piece of action came in the form of a Watford chance which was thwarted by a spectacular save from half-time substitute Rose Kite, who acrobatically made a block after the ball was squared across the face of goal.
United: Sercombe (Kite), Wallace, Mackenzie, Beaver (Sims), Hayes, Haynes, Brown (Jeal), Stevens (Moore), Allen (Bent), McLachlan, Johns
Report by Jacob Gill & photo by Darrell Fisher.