Two late goals sealed victory in Oxford United Women’s last home fixture of 2020, with Carly Johns, Emily Allen and Daisy McLachlan getting their names on the scoresheet to earn a deserved three points for The U’s as their season restarted at Court Place Farm today..
United had the lion’s share of possession in the early stages, however the Keynsham defence stood strong in spite of goalkeeper Rebecca Panniers’ injury which brought about a short break in play in a freeing cold first 10 mins. However, United gained the lead at the half-hour mark as Johns’ fizzing strike inside the penalty area broke the deadlock, much to the delight of the home crowd.
The U’s were keen to keep the pressure on the visitors following Johns’ opener too, with captain Lauren Haynes leading by example with a bursting run through the centre of midfield to carry the ball to the edge of the penalty area before a strong strike on goal was calmly collected and cleared.
The decision for Allen and Johns to swap flanks proved to be an excellent one following The U’s opener as Johns continued to find space on the left, although in similar fashion it was former-United midfielder Kerry Walklett who provided the best chance for Keynsham on 37 minutes. Walklett made a late run on the left flank before receiving the ball in the area, but the midfielder was unable to beat the onrushing Kite at short range.
Haynes, providing the anchor to The U’s midfield, was influential in United starting strongly once the second half got underway; the captain’s movement with the ball allowed the home side to calmly play the ball around midfield and defence to maintain the advantage.
On 72 minutes Keynsham levelled the scores with a quick counter-attack which resulted in a chipped effort over Kite, despite United’s consistent pressure in the opposition half.
Nevertheless, United regained the lead on 82 minutes as substitute Georgia Brown broke free of the Keynsham backline and selflessly squared the ball to Allen in support, who powered the ball home to restore United’s lead.
Following shortly afterwards, McLachlan struck at close range to make sure United keep the three points in Oxfordshire.
UNITED: Kite, Sims, Haynes, Beaver, Hines, Oliver (Brown), Williams (McLachlan), Johns (Stevens), Allen, Hayes, Mackenzie
Report by Jacob Gill, photo by Darrell Fisher.