Oxford United Ladies began their maiden South West Combination campaign with a disappointing 4-1 away defeat to Keynsham Town. However, they refound their sparkling form of last season with a 2-0 victory over Southampton Saints in their first home match of the season. Dan Burgess was there to witness it and was kind enough to send us his account of the game.
Oxford dominated their opponents from the start, closing down fast and intercepting well as they kept Southampton in their own half for most of the first 45 minutes. A goal slotted home after a great pass to Natasha Caswell gave Oxford the lead and kept them very much on top with Southampton pinned in. Their only likely attack would come from their right back who looked sharp and on form, keeping our Holly Pickett under control.
The second goal came from the spot. Lauren Allison was brought down in the box after a solo run and converted well. Southampton should have been down to 10 but were lucky due to the ref’s lack of discipline. Half time could not come quick enough for the Saints as Oxford missed chances to put the game out of sight.
The second half started slowly as Southampton started to take a bit more control, most of their attack arriving from their right back who started to push forward. Oxford offered a strong defence, clearing their lines and bringing Stacey Coles on to go forward and dropping Natasha Caswell back to give Oxford a solid midfield.
Southampton looked lost for ideas and Oxford were cruising to a comfortable win. Other than a few misplaced passes and missed chances, Oxford were by far the better team and deserved all 3 points. This team still has one of their strongest players to return and if they play this well each game surely promotion is on the cards.
My player of the game centre back Sahara Osbourne-Rickets. She controlled the ball well and stayed on top the whole game.