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London Bees 1 (Georgiou pen 30) Oxford Utd 2 (Hines 46, Low 90)
A late winner from substitute Laura Low gave Oxford United a 2-1 away win and a double over London Bees after a similar result earlier in the season.
A hard fought contest seemed to be drifting towards a draw when Low latched on to a through ball and drilled a shot high past Sophie Harris for the decisive goal. Bees had taken a first half lead through an Andria Georgiou penalty but were pegged back within a minute of the restart by a beauty of an equaliser from Kayleigh Hines. There was little to choose between two improving teams throughout but it was United who found a way to settle the issue and go to sixth in the WSL 2 table.
A Rosie Lane header from a corner and an Emma Whitter shot for the hosts were the only efforts on target in a tight opening quarter of an hour. U's Helen King was denied a chance by a good tackle from Aoife Hurley on 17 minutes but it was the Bees who took the lead on the half hour. Whitter was brought down by a challenge from Isi Meade on the edge of the area and Georgiou stepped to convert to Demi Lambourne's left.
The Oxford keeper made a crucial save immediately after to deny Bees a second. Ashleigh Goddard played in Amber Gaylor whose shot was turned away by Lambourne. Even better was a point blank save from Billie Brooks after Whitter's delightful back heel had left Brooks free in front of goal on 36 minutes. Resuming after lengthy treatment, Oxford were grateful to Lambourne to reach the break only one in arrears.
The second half saw Oxford equalise before many had regained their seats. Kayleigh Hines drove forward and launched a precise lofted shot from over 30 yards out which sailed over Harris for a stunning leveller.
Buoyed by this, the U's pushed on and Hines was denied by a fine Harris save in similar style to Lambourne's earlier effort, again resulting in lengthy treatment after a collision. King went close from long range just after the hour as the visitors had the better of the exchanges.
The Bees found their feet again and Gaylor saw an effort from distance held at the second attempt on 70 minutes. Another good effort from the same player was beaten away by Lambourne on 83 minutes and it seemed that the sides would share the points, which would have reflected the share of play and chances over the 90 minutes. However Low had different ideas and her 89th minute strike gave Oxford their first ever WSL 'double'.
London Bees could not find a way back in the lengthy additional time and were only able to reflect on some fine individual displays and a very positive first half.
London Bees: Sophie Harris, Katherine Huggins, Aoife Hurley, Jade Dempster, Billie Brooks, Leigh Nicol (sub Rebecca Anderson 82mins), Andria Georgiou (sub Katie Bowers 80mins), Paula Howells, Ashleigh Goddard, Amber Gaylor, Emma Whitter. Subs not used: Imogen Riches, Kara-May Howes, Sydney Hinchcliffe, Lucy Loomes, Samantha Miller.
Oxford Utd: Demi Lambourne, Isi Meade, Sahara Osborne-Ricketts, Rosie Lane, Chloe Bruce, Katherine Nutman, Ella Franklin-Fraiture, Kayleigh Hines, Holly Pickett (sub Georgia Timms 75mins), Katie Stanley, Helen King (sub Laura Low 85mins). Subs not used: Hannah Cox, Amy Chivers, Lindsay Pinker.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Isi Meade heads clear from Amber Gaylor
(middle) Ashleigh Goddard slides in to tackle Katherine Nutman
(bottom) Oxford celebrate the equalising goal from Kayleigh Hines
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