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Oxford United Women Leave It Late to Win At MK Dons

Penalty drama at both ends as Carly Johns secures all three points at Stadium MK

16 November 2022

United's unbeaten run this season continued at MK Dons this evening, but they left it late to win the three points.

With Lauren Haynes picking up an injury in the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday, Carly Johns dropped into the ten, in front of Leah Burridge and Naomi Cole.

It quickly became a grim evening, with the rain reaching deep into the stands at Stadium MK. Riva Casley made a brave block with her head on 12 minutes as Rhianne Rush cut inside and fired an effort at goal.

After a slow first 20, suddenly the game came to life for a minute or two as both sides had great chances. Lacy Liggett pounced on a loose back pass and stabbed the ball towards goal, but Chloe Sansom did enough to take momentum off it before it could cross the line.

Then, breaking down the other end, Lucy Wood ran the whole length of the pitch with the ball and forced Rose Kite into making a strong save. The ball dropped to the inform Mollie Coupar and Kite did just enough to put the striker off, firing over the bar.

United had to come out much better in the second half, but within five minutes the Dons had a golden chance to go ahead. Amy McLean found herself free at the back post and drilled the ball across goal. Coupar was so close to getting a touch on the slide, but United were let off as the ball went out for a goal kick.

Liam Gilbert needed to change things, and just before the hour mark Sarah King replaced Liggett, before Sammy Wynne came on for Iesha Swaby ten minutes later.

In the 75th minute, King's cross was met by the head of Johns, but yet another United effort went straight into Samson's grateful hands.

As the rain bucketed down and all hope looked lost, Shelly Provan beat two defenders and drew a foul in the box to win a penalty in the 84th minute. Carly Johns stood up and calmly placed the ball into the side netting to win United all three points.

But the drama wasn't done there. In added time the ref pointed to the spot at the other end after a push from an MK corner. Nicole Pepper stepped up and blasted over the bar, missing her first penalty in over three years. 

Oxford won the game through two lifelines and remain top of the Southern Premier Division.

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