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Oxford City lifted the Oxfordshire FA Women's Cup with a 4-0 victory over Kidlington at Thame United F.C.
The Southern Regional League Premier Division team notched three first half goals to dominate the Thames Valley League Division One Champions but a brave performance by the lower ranked team kept City at bay until the final seconds when a fourth was added. The match was the climax of a Finals Day dominated by Oxford City teams, who lifted all three trophies, at Under-14 and Under-16 as well as Senior level.
It did not take long for City to open the scoring when a left wing cross from Sarah Reid evaded the defence for Steph Mobbs to convert at the far post on five minutes. Kidlington had a great chance to equalise straight away but April England was denied by a brave save from Natalie Morris when through on goal. City doubled their lead on 18 minutes through Danielle Anderson who finished a right wing cross from cross range.
Kidlington went close after 27 minutes. The ball fell to Anna Jimenez from another Morris save on the edge of her area but her goalbound shot was cleared from close to the line by Emma Kidd. Again, City showed a clinical edge when Mobbs lofted in a perfect shot from wide on the left after the danger seemed have been cleared from a scramble in the box on 30 minutes.
Anderson hit the bar from 15 yards soon after as City threatened to overrun their opponents but, in fact, Kidlington gave a great performance for the last hour of the match. Led by excellent work from skipper Maisie Hastings and fellow defender Meggie Crawford and with keeper Emily Murphy making a series of fine saves, despite suffering injury during an eventful 45 minutes and eventual ten minutes added time, Kidlington showed admirable spirit to match their opposition.
Chances came and went for City throughout the second period. Heather Young was denied three times by Murphy saves. The Kidlington keeper's best moment came on 71 minutes with a superb double save. Having pushed away an intial shot, Murphy was up in a flash to launch herself at the follow up effort, getting a strong right hand to turn the ball past the post.
Kidlington had a number of chances to reduce the arrears through a series of free kicks in good positions. Tor Rodway delivered some dangerous balls into the area, but the City defence and Morris dealt with them confidently. Jimenez went close with a shot pushed wide by Morris and it was City who had the final word. After Murphy had denied Anderson with a good save, the striker broke free again on the left and set up Sian Riley-Phillips for a simple finish in the tenth minute of additional time.
Oxford City have a great chance of finishing runners-up in the Southern Regional Premier to champions Maidenhead United and this victory gives them the most County Cup wins in the history of the competition.
Oxford City: Natalie Morris, Anne Campbell, Marisa Chamberlain, Mollie Avery, Aliyah Anthony, Emma Kidd, Heather Young, Nicole Miles, Danielle Anderson, Sarah Reid, Steph Mobbs. Subs: Leah Moorhouse, Sian Riley-Phillips, Ethne Rothery.
Kidlington: Emily Murphy, Tor Rodway, Maisie Hastings, Hollie Denton, Meggie Crawford, Hayley Clements, Beth Hawtin, Hannah Vincent, Zoe Taylor, Anna Jimenez, April England. Subs: Chloe Merrison, Sophie Tatford, Amelia Brooks, Beth Mulvaney, Jess Daniels.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Beth Mulvaney battles for the ball with Marisa Chamberlain
(middle) Hayley Clements and Sian Riley-Phillips
(bottom) The victorious Oxford City team with the cup
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