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Match Reports

Women Narrowly Defeat Cheltenham

Cheltenham Town Ladies 0-1 OUWFC. Match Report

12 October 2023

Match Reports

Women Narrowly Defeat Cheltenham

Cheltenham Town Ladies 0-1 OUWFC. Match Report

12 October 2023

Oxford United Women earned a hard fought 1-0 victory away at Cheltenham Town Ladies in the driving rain tonight.

United's captain Leah Burridge scored the only goal of the game just before half time in a tight encounter under the lights.

Jess Gray stepped in at right back for the ill Katie Sherwood, and the young defender saw plenty of the ball early on linking up well with Taome Oliver on the right hand side.

Lacy Liggett had the U’s first real chance, glancing Kate Wiseman’s corner just wide of the post in the 12th minute.

Then United clicked into action and created two excellent opportunities within a minute. First Burridge found Zoe Barratt excellently who brought it under control and layed off Wiseman. Her strike was saved low by Aimee Watson, who then saved Barratt’s attempt seconds later at the near post.

Maisy Lollis and Charlie Taylor did well in the middle of the park for the Robinesses to prevent the ever-lively Liggett from creating but as the half came to a close, the U’s bombarded the Cheltenham goal.

It looked like it was going to be one of those days as Burridge’s strike rattled the bar following some silky work from King. The latter’s effort was then saved excellently and from the rebound Burridge’s strike from two yards out was miraculously blocked by Robinesses’ captain Emily Owen on the line.

United deserved the lead and were not going to take no for an answer; right on the stroke of half time skipper Burridge popped up at the back post to emphatically half volley home her second of the season and fire the U’s into the break with the advantage.

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It was important for Oxford to control the game after the restart in the driving rain in Bishops Cleeve; Cheltenham are an energetic side and the U’s had to show maturity to keep them out. Gray optimised that, having an excellent game on the right side of the defense.

Paris Sercombe, although having to do little challenging with her hands, was excellent with her feet and Kate Wiseman helped to dictate the tempo in the four.

Cheltenham had a good chance with twenty minutes to play as former Yellow Daisy Ackerman’s cross was headed over from close range by former Welsh International Tash Harding.

Jenna Legg replaced Liggett in the 67th minute to add some experience and energy into midfield. King saw an effort from range fly just wide and Legg’s outside-of-the-foot strike was held well by Watson but that was the only real chance the U’s created in the second 45.

Jaime Gotch and Cecily Wellesley-Smith marshalled the defence and the whole squad earned their clean sheet by graft, tenacity and plenty of technical and tactical ability thrown into the mix.

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Gotch made a superb last ditch block at the death, matched by Shelly Provan who was immense as usual when she got a touch on Emily Allen’s close range effort in the final seconds.

A professional performance to earn back-to-back victories and a hard fought three points as they head into a blank weekend.

LINEUP: Sercombe, Provan, Gotch, Wellesley-Smith, Gray, Wiseman (Trinci 82’), Burridge, Liggett (Legg 67’), King, Barratt, Oliver

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