Oxford United Women concluded their season with an entertaining 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest Women at Court Place Farm today, with goals from Daisy McLachlan and Brogan Moore cancelling out strikes from Annabel McKechnie and Laura Dexter.
It was the visitors who struck first on ten minutes when McKechnie snuck into space at the far post as the ball was crossed into the box from the left flank, the Forest player making her mark in the final game of her career before retirement.
It was Supporters’ Player of the Year Lauren Haynes who came closest to equalising in the first 30 minutes, narrowly firing a free kick from the edge of the box over the crossbar.
The U’s had a couple of good chances to level the scoreline before half-time, however Jones in Forest’s goal worked hard to keep her side in front; a looping ball over the top of Forest’s defence initially set Carly Johns free to run on goal, however her shot was parried away before McLachlan’s follow-up effort was narrowly kept out of the net after a bounce put the goalkeeper under pressure.
It was McLachlan again who brilliantly levelled the scores in the final seconds before half-time, this time the United winger found a pocket of space at the far post following a corner from Haynes, and her driven shot at close range beat the sea of bodies positioned along the goal line.
In the second half substitute Moore had a goal ruled out for offside after heading in from McLachlan’s pin-point cross down the right flank, but the young winger made no mistake with her second attempt just before the hour mark when she managed to poke the ball past the clutches of the goalkeeper and into the net to put United into the lead, much to the delight of a healthily-sized home crowd taking advantage of free admission and raining money instead for Ronald McDonald House, with Karl Robinson also in attendance
However, United’s advantage was wiped out ten minutes later through Dexter, who fired the visitors level on 68 minutes.
Both teams battled for possession in the bright Oxfordshire sunshine, but neither could find that elusive winner and as result the contest ended even.
Kite, Wallace, Sims, Trialist, Baker, Haynes, Stevens, Brown, Jeal, Johns, McLachlan
Substitutes (all used): Sercombe, Williams, Moore, Bent, Mackenzie
Report by Jacob Gill