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Oxford graduate to higher level
 Women's Football News 18 May 2012
Oxford graduate to higher level - 18 May 2012 - Women's Football NewsAfter finishing last season in great form, Oxford United were expected to be among the main challengers in the Southern Region League this time time around but the campaign could hardly have gone any better for them. 
The U's have stormed to the Premier Division title in some style, having won all of their league matches so far as well as being one stage away from successfully defending the League Cup, retaining the Oxfordshire County Cup and reaching the Third Round of the F.A.Women's Cup.
Pre-season started very well with Oxford not losing a game throughout this stage and they went into the season full of confidence, with their objective being to gain promotion into the South West Combination.
The first league game of the new campaign was against last season's runners-up Woodley Utd and Oxford ran out 5-1 winners, a great start which they carried on into their first few matches. Indeed, Oxford continued their good run of form and managed to win every game in the league up to Christmas.
Their fine run of results transferred over into the F.A.Women's Cup and Oxford found themselves up against Lewes in the Second Round, going on to record a stunning 2-0 win over a side which won the South East Combination title and promotion to the Premier League with an unbeaten record. Their reward was a Third Round tie against Northern Division title chasers Manchester City at their SportsCity home, which is located next to the Etihad Stadium.
Unfortunately for Oxford, playing against a side that was two leagues above them was too much for them to deal with and City went on to progress to the last sixteen as well as the Northern Division Championship.
Oxford's first silverware of the season came in the County Cup where they defeated Launton 5-0 in the Final to lift the trophy for the second year in succession. They kept up their winning run in the league and secured the title with a midweek victory over local rivals Bracknell Town. This Sunday, they have the opportunity to pick up a third trophy when they take on runners-up Shanklin in an eagerly awaited League Cup Final at Aldershot.
The manager for the later stages of the season was Leon Blackmore-Such who paid tribute to his players. "The success this season is down to the hard work they have continued to put in," he said. "Whether in training or in games, it has been a pleasure being involved with such a successful team."
Many of the side are members of the Oxford United Ladies Football Academy and they have been fired along the way by 32 goals from highly rated young striker Ellie Roberts, who also scored the team's goal against Manchester City.
Oxford's targets for next season are to be competitive and gain a good finish in order to build again for promotion, as well as to retain the County Cup and have another good run in the F.A.Women's Cup.

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