Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

REPORT Oxford United Women 1 Arsenal U21 2

U's lose to young Gunners

10 August 2022

Club News

REPORT Oxford United Women 1 Arsenal U21 2

U's lose to young Gunners

10 August 2022

Oxford United Women continued their pre-season with a 2-1 defeat against Arsenal Women U21s this evening at Court Place Farm.

Lauren Haynes put United ahead in the 29th minute with an astute finish before Arsenal levelled straight from kick-off. In the 58th minute the young Gunners took the lead with an easy tap-in at the back post. But despite the U’s suffering a home defeat, they put in a hard-working performance with plenty of positives to take in to the new season

It was a vibrant first five minutes with both teams pressing well. Rose Kite was forced to come off her line twice to keep the Arsenal frontline from going through on goal, and then, in the seventh had to impose herself again inside her box after a scramble from an Arsenal corner. Kite had already done more than she did in 90 minutes a week ago against Arsenal’s North London rivals Spurs.

United began to find their rhythm. After some nice build-up play from the back Oxford created their first chance in the 13th minute. An Arsenal mistake allowed Sophie Baker through on goal but the striker took one too many touches and the chance fizzled out. Minutes later Baker found herself with another opportunity, and her effort was fired just wide of the Arsenal goal after some good feet down the left-hand side.

As far as pre-season tests go, this was a difficult one. United were forced to work hard, both by the temperature and by an organised and dogged Arsenal side  who continued to attempt to play out from the back, but Oxford refused to make it easy for them, pressing high up the pitch.

On the 29th minute, that determination paid off whenHaynes nicked the ball off an Arsenal midfielder excellently, and a quick one-two between her and Baker put the captain through on goal. The finish was never in doubt as Haynes slotted the ball confidently past the Arsenal keeper.


The young Arsenal side may have had their clean sheet gunned down, but their hopes hadn’t been shot. Almost straight from the restart, the visitors attacked down the left and the ball fell to Arsenal's number 58 on the edge of the box, who drilled the ball low into the bottom left corner to make it 1-1

Thankfully for those on the pitch and in the stands, the sun went down behind Court Place Farm and brought some relief for the start of the second half.

United made three subs at halftime, with Provan, McLachlan, and Sellwood replacing Alexander, Johns, and Baker.

Arsenal U21’s finished second in the Academy Women’s Super League Southern Premier last season, and they looked the part, knocking the ball around with confidence and providing the Yellows with more of a physical battle than they may have expected.

The 254 fans that turned out at Court Place Farm certainly got their money’s worth, with an end-to-end spectacle unfolding in front of them in the evening heat.

In the 58th minute, Arsenal took the lead. The Gunner’s winger broke down the left and fizzed the ball across the 6-yard box, slipping through Kite's fingers for an easy tap-in at the back post.

Kite made a great save with 15 minutes remaining; the Arsenal striker tried to lift the ball over the keeper, who stood strong to keep her team in the game. Baker lead the line tirelessly all night and was fed through with ten minutes to go by a clever chipped ball from McLachlan but the Arsenal defence forced her to rush her shot and she fired over.

Ultimately, it wasn’t United’s day, but they put in a real shift and were in the game right to the final whistle.
The girls will go again for their final pre-season game against Hashtag United this Sunday at Court Place Farm, before their league campaign begins the following Sunday.



Report by BIlly Lawrence, pictures by Darrell Fisher

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match