Oxford United Women continued their strong start to the Southern Premier League season with an excellent 2-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle Women on Sunday.
Leah Burridge scored twice, once in the second minute and once in the 53rd to send Oxford back home with all three points.
The U’s named an unchanged side from their 2-0 opening day victory over Bridgwater United, and the high spirits that followed that result were evident right from the start. Barely a minute and a half into the game and a high press led to Sarah King’s cross finding Burridge in the box to fire emphatically past Jasmine Read in the Plymouth net for her first of the season.
The Yellows didn’t show any signs of slowing down. In the 5th minute, Carly Johns’ corner was glanced just wide by the towering Riva Casley, who almost replicated her goal from a week ago. Five minutes later and more great football from the Yellows led to Haynes' first-time cross finding Daisy McLachlan whose volley flew just over the bar.
Plymouth didn’t have a sniff for the first 30 minutes due to the excellent pressing and mesmerising football played by the away side who should have been 2-0 up as Johns poked an effort just wide of the post.
Plymouth had a tame effort saved by Rose Kite on 31 minutes, which was followed by Casley’s bicycle kick being tipped just over the bar by Jasmine Read. The Plymouth keeper had had a busy day at the office already and five minutes after the restart Burridge should have had her second of the game but fired just over. Seconds later, Naomi Cole's strike rattled the left-hand post.
Finally, the second goal that Oxford deserved came. In the 53rd minute, Carly Johns let the ball roll across her body and picked out a deep, pinpoint cross to the back post. Leah Burridge obliged, sending a fantastic diving header past Read to double the lead and her tally for the afternoon.
Kite made her first difficult save of the evening with half an hour to go and Plymouth found some momentum in the last 20 minutes, and had a few chances go wide, but none that massively troubled United’s defence.
Overall it was a confident and dominant performance from the Yellows, who continued their perfect start to the season, leaving the South Coast with three deserved points and a clean sheet.
Now it’s a quick turnaround as they look to make it three from three as they host London Bees at Court Place Farm on Tuesday night.
Kite, Stevens, Casley, Beaver, Provan, Cole, Haynes, Burridge (Wynne 90), King (Oliver, 24’ – Gray, 45’), Johns (Prescott 90), Mclachlan (Gotch, 76’)
Report by Billy Lawrence, pictures Darrell Fisher