Oxford United Women marked International Women’s Day with a 2-1 win against Portsmouth as Kayleigh Hines’ impressive opener and Daisy McLachlan’s intelligent winner gave them all three points despite Hayley Bridge’s first half equaliser for Portsmouth in front of a healthy crowd this afternoon at Court Place Farm.
Despite early proceedings being dominated by a number of set pieces the highlight of the first 20 minutes came when Emily Allen sent a wonderful ball over the top of Pompey’s defence to find the onrushing McLachlan. Unselfishly, McLachlan squared the ball to Georgia Timms, whose shot was met by a fine save from Haughton in the Pompey net.
On 23 minutes Hines produced a moment of magic for The U’s, popping up in the centre of the field to produce a trademark strike which cannoned off the left-hand post and into the net, leaving Haughton well-beaten and the crowd stunned.
However, United’s advantage lasted only 10 minutes due to Bridge’s movement and finish at the back post as the ball was whipped across the face of United’s goal and blasted into the roof of the net.
Timms looked to be the focal point of United’s play early into the second half but the number nine was unable to latch onto a dangerous McLachlan ball threaded through Pompey’s two centre-halves shortly after the break.
Nonetheless, Timms’ hard work in pressing the visitors’ backline proved to be vital in keeping Pompey at bay during a period of pressure for The U’s, whilst also forcing a number of corners.
On 75 minutes it was McLachlan who restored United’s advantage as her clever movement to sweep home a low delivery across the face of goal drew parallels with Pompey’s earlier equaliser. The U’s newest addition Molly Peters, proved influential with her acceleration helping to drive forward United’s attack and earning the assist.
United made sure that Pompey would not get themselves back into the game with Sophie Baker’s introduction in place of Ellie Searle adding fresh legs to maintain the pressure on the visitors. The energy shown by United right until the very last second proved testament to Liam Gilbert and his coaching team, and United ended the game well worthy of their three points in the Oxfordshire sunshine,
Sercombe, Roberts, Sims, Haynes, McLachlan, Hines, Timms, Williams (Peters), Searle (Baker), Allen, Clifford
Report: Jacob Gill Photo: Tom Melvin