Oxford United Women bowed out of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup, losing on penalties to Plymouth Argyle after late goals dominated an end-to-end game.
Liggett created two good opportunities with her bullishness early in the first half, the best forming when she slid in Zoe Barratt inside the area. United’s top scorer looked certain to score but her strike was too close to Jasmine Read who parried the effort away from danger.
Dandridge caused problems running the front line for the Greens, and bent an effort over from range just before the twenty minute mark.
Sarah King and Shelly Provan combined well down the left in the 34th minute, the latter’s cross found Kate Wiseman in the box but she fired over with her half volley.
Coats were taken off as the football proceeded; the sun peered through the trees at Coach Road, but admittedly it took United a while to warm up.
Then, with the last action of the first half, Provan’s deep cross was met by Liggett at the back post and she fired her volley into the roof of the net to give United the lead at the perfect time.
Plymouth kicked off and the half time whistle followed with the U's a goal to the good.
It was a bitty second half and United struggled to create for the majority of it. Cecily Wellesley-Smith and Jaime Gotch did well to reduce Argyle to long range pot shots.
Izzy Cook returned to the pitch after a long time out with a foot injury, and Vita Budaieva, stepping up from the Development Squad replaced Jenna Legg.
Provan almost scored the goal of the season when her long range strike cannoned off the underside of the bar and onto the goalline, but the U’s couldn’t put any distance between the two sides and they were punished.
In the 92nd minute, Charlotte Whitmore broke with pace down the left and squared to substitute Fern Orchard whose first time finish hit the back of the net to send the tie to extra time.
King had two chances cleared off the line and it looked destined to go to penalties, but in the 118th minute Barratt’s strike hit a Plymouth arm in the box and the ref pointed to the spot.
Barratt stepped up and rifled her penalty in to the top corner, but it wasn’t over there.
Plymouth went down the other end and when the ball popped out to Immy Crawford on the edge of the area she arrowed a wonder strike into the top right corner to send it to penalties.
The U’s skipper, Leah Burridge, was the only one to miss from twelve yards and so the U’s were knocked out of the competition.
A cruel way to lose it, but the perfect chance to bounce back in the League at home to Billericay in a week’s time.
LINEUP: Sercombe, Provan, Wellesley-Smith, Gotch, Oliver (Hoare, 120), Wiseman, Burridge, Legg (Budaieva, 82’), King, Barratt, Liggett (Cook, 76’)
Report by Billy Lawrence, Pictures from Darrell Fisher