Sam Rose took charge of his first game as Manager of Oxford United Women as the U’s progressed to the next round of the Women’s FA Cup, beating Woodley United Ladies 4-0.
Two goals either side of half time, first from Zoe Barratt and Jenna Legg, and then by Barratt and Sarah King saw the U’s win comfortably away from home at Bulmershe Pavilion.
Leah Burridge and Legg both had long range shots in the first ten, but Woodley did well to stifle the U’s threat early on.
Charley Evans at right back was excellent for the tier 5 side, whilst on the other flank the experienced Shelly Provan looked like she would be the one to unlock the key for the U’s.
It was a moment of magic that broke the deadlock. Barratt turned on the edge of the box and rifled a half volley superbly into the left corner to give the U’s the lead on the half hour mark.
The U’s were professional all afternoon on a tricky pitch, and when Legg popped up with her first goal in Yellow before half time it was probably game over. The U’s midfielder was layed off in the box by Kate Wiseman and drilled the ball into the bottom left corner to send Oxford into the break two goals ahead.
Lots of credit has to go to Woodley, who were playing in this stage of the competition for the first time in their history. Michelle Quinn made things bitty in midfield all afternoon and Gemma Sims defended the box excellently to keep United’s clear cut chances to a minimum.
After the restart, Zoe Barratt had a header saved well by Sophie Measham, who had a lot to do and did a lot of it well. Jaime Gotch then fired an effort just over from range, before Wiseman curled an effort wide.
The U’s pounced on a tiring Woodley side and made it three and four in quick succession just after the hour mark.
Barratt got her second of the game when she rode a challenge on the edge of the box and picked out the bottom corner perfectly before King scored the pick of the bunch three minutes later.
Cutting inside of the left, the U’s winger struck a perfect effort sliding away from the diving keeper and into the top right corner to wrap up a solid win.
Lacy Liggett and Amy Woodhead replaced Anais Trinci and Wiseman in the latter stages, and Woodley fought to the bitter end and put bodies on the line to keep the scoreline at a respectful 4-0 given the gulf in tiers between the two sides.
Into the second round of the Women’s FA Cup and a confident win in tricky conditions for Sam Rose’s first game in charge of the U’s.
LINEUP: Sercombe, Provan, Gotch, Jenkins, Oliver, Wiseman (Woodhead, 87'), Burridge, Legg, King, Barratt, Trinci (Liggett, 71')
Match Report by Billy Lawrence, Photos by Darrell Fisher