Monday, 17 September 2012

MATCH REPORT: Oxford United 1-0 Forest Green Rovers

If the men’s team appear to be faltering, the ladies are currently going from strength to strength. Unbeaten since the opening day of the season they brought Forest Green’s unbeaten start to an end with a 1-0 victory on Sunday. Dan Burgess was at Roman Way and wrote us this report.

The game started very evenly with both teams holding a strong back line and keeping plenty of players behind the ball. As the half progressed Forest Green looked to be on top, apart from some great defending by our ladies with last minute tackles from Hayley Bennett and Sahara Osborne-Rickets.

Natasha Caswell hit the bar with three different attempts and as the final minutes of the half approached Oxford finally looked in full control. United took the lead when Catherine Beaver headed home after a short corner found Isi Meade, who then crossed perfectly to the back post.

The second half started as the first ended and Oxford dominated the visitors, with Natasha Caswell missing another three great chances. Slowly Forest Green pushed back into the game but still with no real goal threat. Their forward held the ball up well all game but lacked any support.

Oxford brought on Nell Boxall for Nicole Miles to provide a much needed energy boost and Natasha Caswell dropped back in to midfield, taking control of the pace and movement and using Nicole Miles & Sian Riley to stretch Forest Green’s back four.

Lauren Allison’s pace troubled Forest Green and looked our most likely goal threat until an injury took her out of the game to be replaced by Anna Pilkington and Sian Riley replaced Lindsay Pinker. The fresh legs saw out the last few minutes of the game but Hannah Cox had to make a fine reaction save to push a close range shot over the bar.

A tired Oxford deserved all three points but Forest Green were strong opponents and made it a hard fought game for the ladies in yellow. It was good all-round game that now takes Oxford to second in the league.

My man of the match was goalscorer Catherine Beaver who played simple football to good effect.

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