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United Women Begin 2023 With A Win

U's beat Bridgwater United convincingly 3-0 away from home

8 January 2023

Club News

United Women Begin 2023 With A Win

U's beat Bridgwater United convincingly 3-0 away from home

8 January 2023

Oxford United Women began 2023 with a convincing 3-0 victory over Bridgwater United this afternoon in the Southern Premier Division.

Jaime Gotch, Lacy Liggett and Leah Burridge all found the net in the first half to earn United all three points.

The U’s came out the blocks fast for 2023, winning three consecutive corners in the opening seconds. The second led to the most promising chances, as both Liggett and Burridge’s goalmouth efforts were somehow cleared by the Bridgwater defence.

Naomi Cole’s set pieces were as dangerous as usual, with a 30 yard free kick almost curling into the back of the net in the sixth minute, but for an Ellie Mitchell save. Riva Casley and Carly Johns both latched on to a Cole corner each within ten minutes, but were both denied by the Bridgwater keeper.

After surviving the yellow barrage in the opening ten, Bridgwater found their feet and won a few set pieces of their own, but none troubled Rose Kite too much.

Daisy McLachlan was superb all afternoon, her quick feet no match for full back Charlotte Buxton. She won yet another free kick for Cole to fire goalwards, which was tipped over again by Mitchell.

The Yellow pressure eventually paid off, as Cole finally saw one of her inswinging crosses met by a decisive Oxford header. Jaime Gotch followed the ball all the way and popped up at the back post to thump the ball home for her first Oxford goal to give the U’s the lead in the 26th minute.

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The floodgates opened, and United found their second in the 33rd. McLachlan was again instrumental, beating Buxton all ends up and finding an inch perfect cross into Liggett, who stretched to volley home superbely for two.

Burridge then rounded off a majestic first half performance, latching on to another Cole corner to fire through a crowded six yard box. The loss away to Portsmouth in late December clearly had not had a negative effect on the dressing room, and the U's went into the break 3-0 up.

The game became quite bitty in the second half, with the referee blowing for plenty of fouls all over the pitch. United still dominated the ball and created some hood chances, but none as clear as the first 45.

Lily Stevens put an excellent ball in to the box that was so nearly met by Iesha Swaby, before Cole almost scored goal of the season, letting fly on the half volley from the edge of the box only to see her effort sail just over the bar with thirty minutes to play.

Tash Stephens got the chance to make her Oxford United debut, replacing Swaby with just over twenty minutes to mark her impact on the game, before Sarah King, Georgia Hayes and Sammy Wynne replaced Liggett, Cole and Johns.

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Provan almost put the cherry on the cake, curling an effort on to the top of the crossbar just before the full time whistle.

In the end, the U’s were able to comfortably see out the victory and pick up all three points on the road to begin 2023 with a bang and strengthen their position at the top of the table

UNITED: Kite, Provan, Casley, Gotch, Stevens, Cole (Hayes, 81’), Burridge, Johns (Wynne, 85'), McLachlan, Swaby (Stephens, 67’), Liggett (King, 75’)

Report by Billy Lawrence, pictures Liam Faulkner


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