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Women's Football News
Oxford Utd 3 Oxford City 0
Oxford United wrapped up their prolific Cup season by retaining the Oxfordshire FA Women's Cup with a 3-0 victory over local rivals Oxford City.
The South West Combination title chasers had to labour long and hard to put away a spirited City, holding only a single goal advantage until the 90 minutes was nearly up.
City, bottom of the Southern Regional League Premier Division owing to other clubs folding, were under the cosh for the majority of the match but fought bravely to defy the U's, who had beaten two FA Premier League teams in their FA Women's Cup run which ended three weeks ago against FA WSL side Everton.
City goalkeeper Sara Moreira had an extraordinary match, saving at least 20 goalbound efforts with uncanny positioning, great handling at times and good fortune at others. Her defensive colleagues were resolute at all times, launching into tackles and blocks to deny the prolific United attack of Lauren Allison, Holly Pickett, Katie Stanley backed up by skipper Natasha Caswell and Isi Meade on the left.
A virtually full strength United team, hammered away for 37 minutes before Stanley crossed from the right for Charlotte Clarke to drive a shot past Moreira. The second half followed a similar pattern with Moreira reserving her best saves for Caswell's three long range efforts. When Allison looked to have beaten her, Aliyah Anthony headed clear fom the line. As the game reached its final minutes City pushed forward to find an unlikely equaliser but were unable to really trouble Hannah Cox in the U's goal.
Finally, on 87 minutes, Stanley found the time and space to shoot home at the second attempt and in added time Caswell rose high to nod in a Stanley cross to give United some breathing space.
Both teams can gain satisfaction from the Final, United for keeping their hold on the trophy and City for a gutsy display from every team member.
Oxford City: Sara Moreira, Aliyah Anthony, Catherine Campbell, Abi Clayton-Hobbs, Abi Currie, Kate Harvey, Frankie Hickson, Laura Mclone, Nicki Olin, Holly Prior, Magda Serendicka. Subs: Leah McLennon, Mollie Avery, Emma Kidd, Tish Varney.
Oxford Utd: Hannah Cox, Isi Meade, Stephanie Mobbs, Sahara Osborne-Ricketts, Amy Chivers, Lauren Allison, Charlotte Clarke, Natasha Caswell, Holly Pickett, Katie Stanley, Lindsay Pinker. Subs: George Currie, Abi Smith, Hayley Bennett, Dan Anderson, Stacey Coles.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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