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Oxford United moved comfortably into the Third Round Qualifying of the F.A.Women's Cup with a resounding
7-1 win over Thames Valley County League opponents Stony Stratford Town at Abingdon United's ground on Sunday.
Both teams had already reached further in the competition than ever before but the Southern Region League team took a two-goal lead in the first three minutes and never looked back. United's Jane Younger and Bev Hirons both finished well to give the home team a dream start. The same pair scored around the twenty minute mark, taking full advantage of poor clearances to threaten a rout.
Already injury hit, Stony Stratford regrouped, started to defend a bit better and managed to get their own passing game going without really threatening to score. Oxford were still moving the ball sweetly, relishing the time and space which they rarely get in the league. As half time approached they finally added the goal which, in truth, they had threatened throughout with a long range shot from Holly Pickett.
Stony Stratford had a much better second half and drew a fine save from United keeper George Currie on 48 minutes, diving to turn aside a left foot shot from hard working forward Kirsty Walker. A more even second half was lit up by a great team goal for United on 65 minutes, an eight-pass move playing in Bev Hirons for her hat-trick.
Currie and Hirons were substituted to give goalkeeper Ellen Hopkins and Stacey Coles some game time. Hopkins soon conceded to a fine Emily James finish for a Stony Stratford consolation goal but later made two good saves as Stony Stratford fought hard to the end. Coles scored the final goal of the contest on 77 minutes from the edge of the area for United who had given a good all round team performance.
Oxford United have been given a difficult trip to the Isle of Wight to face Shanklin in the final qualifying round. Shanklin beat United 5-0 at home in their opening league match and will be a severe test of United's recent improved form, which included their first league victory against Wycombe Wanderers two weeks ago. Stony Stratford can take heart from an improved second half showing against a team from two leagues above them.
Oxford Utd: George Currie, George Stone, Amy Chivers, Fran Wolfe, Gina Ianniello, Kath Boardman, Danni Anderson, Nell Boxell, Bev Hirons, Jane Younger, Holly Pickett. Subs Ellen Hopkins, Becca Corbett, Stacey Coles.
Stony Stratford Town: Corinne Benham, Jo Benham, Gemma Simmons, Peta Ferguson, Amanda Green, Kelly Wing, Emily James, Tamsin Graveson, Carrie Ross, Kirsty Walker, Emily Weller. Subs: Donna Lake, Courtney Frank.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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