An agonising extra time exit saw Oxford United Women bow out of the Women's FA Cup at Court Place Farm this afternoon with a 4-3 defeat to Plymouth Argyle.
The early proceedings saw an intense midfield battle before Plymouth’s Helen Bleazard broke the deadlock on 14 minutes. A looping free-kick from a central area dipped past U's keeper Sercombe to give the visitors the advantage.
Liam Gilbert’s side responded and Georgia Timms produced a fine stop from Fannon in the Argyle net, to the encouragement of the home crowd who braved the blisteringly cold conditions.
However Plymouth doubled their advantage on 19 minutes when Natasha Knapman made her way into the box to plant a header past Sercombe at point-blank range.
United pulled it back to 1-2 on 71 minutes when after a frantic scramble in the Plymouth box the ball fell to Timms who gave Oxford the goal that they deserved. United’s fortunes didn’t end there either, and Gemma Sims guided the ball past a sea of bodies in the Pilgrims’ penalty area to make the score 2-2.
Gemma Sims looked to have won it for the yellows with a header at the back post during a lively spell of extra time. However, Bleazard’s long range strike for Argyle shortly after levelled the scores at 3-3.
With the game looking to be going to penalties, it was Plymouth who snatched a late winner to send themselves into the third round, to the dismay of an Oxford side who put on a noble performance under the floodlights.
UNITED: Sercombe, Sims, Haynes, McLachlan, Hines, Timms (Johns 117), Williams (Moore 86), Baker, Searle (Bent 82), Allen, Clifford.
UNUSED SUBS: Watson, Roberts, Kirby.