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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United Women 2 Bridgwater United 0

U's start season with a win

21 August 2022

Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United Women 2 Bridgwater United 0

U's start season with a win

21 August 2022

Oxford United Women opened their FAWNL Southern Premier Division season with a strong 2-0 victory against Bridgwater United at Court Place Farm this afternoon.

New number ten Naomi Cole opened the scoring on 35 minutes with a splendid volley into the top corner. Riva Casley then doubled the U’s lead just after half-time from a corner.

Bridgwater looked nervy for the first five minutes, with Oxford winning a couple of set pieces early on. Leah Burridge’s dipping effort on 10 minutes was the first shot on target for either side, the movement troubling Beth Howard before the Bridgwater keeper gathered at the second time of asking.

On 22 minutes Oxford so nearly took the lead. Sarah King flashed the ball across the six-yard box and Daisy McLachlan poked the ball just past the post. Bridgwater also had chances: Ellie Sara cut inside Lauren Haynes and fired a long-range effort past the diving Rose Kite, but just wide of the left-hand post.

There was a height mismatch on the pitch as Carly Johns had the difficult challenge of being marked by the 6’2” Amy Goddard. The Bridgwater centre-back unsurprisingly won most of the aerial battles, but Johns won the overall duel, with some quick feet getting the better of her marker who was at least a head taller than her.

The last time these two teams met, the Robins ran out 1-0 victors at Fairfax Park, but that was water under the bridge for the Yellows. In the 35th minute, United got the goal they deserved. The ball fell to Cole on the edge of the box who volleyed brilliantly into the top left corner on her full debut.

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The U’s went into the break deservedly one goal up, and went two goals ahead in the 49th minute. The excellent Johns' corner was met by defender Casley whose clever flicked header looped into the back of the net. 2-0 to the Yellows.

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The U’s started to turn it on. On 51 minutes Sarah King nutmegged her full-back and fed Burridge who backheeled the ball just past the path of Johns. The Bridgwater defence managed to clear but it would've been some goal.

The second half was all Oxford, dominating possession and troubling Robins defenders on multiple occasions, whilst Casley and Cat Beaver were imperious at the back. New signings Provan, Burridge, and Cole all put in strong performances and United looked to have used pre-season well to gel as a squad.

King made way for Erin Hartigan with ten minutes to go, who was only able to play for a minute after sustaining an injury from a nasty clash. She was subsequently replaced by Billie French.
Academy prospect Jess Gray came on in the 94th minute, replacing Burridge.

Bridgwater United finished fourth in the league last season, so this result was a really strong start for the Yellows, who looked comfortable for the majority of the game. 2-0 may flatter the Robins, however, as United’s dominance probably deserved another goal or two.

Next up the U’s have a long trip down to Devon to face Plymouth Argyle Women on Sunday the 28th of August.

Kite, Stevens, Beaver, Casley, Provan, Haynes, Cole, Burridge (Gray, 90+4’), King (Hartigan, 81 – French, 86’), Johns, Mclachlan

Attendance 259

Report by Billy Lawrence, pictures Darrell Fisher

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