Oxford United Women bounced back from their midweek disappointment to earn a valuable 2-0 win over Portsmouth Women on the south coast on Sunday afternoon.
It was a week of highs and lows for United as last Sunday they secured the Oxfordshire County Cup but followed that up with a difficult 3-2 loss in midweek to Cardiff to all but end their hopes of pushing for second place in the National League.
With the reverse fixture at Court Place Farm, won by United thanks to an injury time Emily Allen volley, played just two weeks ago, there was a sense of familiarity about the opening stages of the game as both sides countered each other's moves and looked to find the break through.
Much like two weeks ago it was Oxford and Georgia Timms who got the first goal of the afternoon. Sophie Baker, on the overlap from full-back got her cross away and Timms got enough of a connection on the ball to see it bounce past Hannah Haughton in the Pompey net. Haughton, who made a number of good stops during the game as well as in the reverse fixture, will certainly feel she could have done better on this occasion, but for Oxford, it was the break they needed.
With the lead secured United’s confidence grew and they started to dominate the proceedings. Haughton had to be quick off her line and pulled off an acrobatic stop to deny the on rushing Timms as Oxford pushed for a second. As the clock ticked towards the half-time break Oxford finally got the second goal their play deserved as Allen raced away down the left, twisting inside and out before rifling a cross/shot across goal. The last touch may have come off an unfortunate defender in the centre, but the two-goal lead was the least the away side’s play deserved.
As expected Portsmouth came out after the break a rejuvenated side. It was the home side that was making all the running while Oxford looked content to contain and hit Portsmouth on the break. United’s defence worked hard as a unit and mostly restricted Pompey to shots from distance, but did have Lucy Thomas to thank for a sharp stop down to her right to keep out a powerful Jade Widdows shot.
A professional performance from United to see the second half out without too much incident and they will now go into the final game of the season away to Loughborough Foxes hoping to end the season on a high.
Photo by: Jordan Hampton.
Oxford United: Thomas, Baker, Mobbs, Sims, Bent, Allen, Noble, Haynes (Walklett), Gane, Williams (Fyfe), Timms
Subs (Unused): Lynch, Sercombe, Roberts