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Women's Football News
Bristol City 4 (Farrow 17,43, Emslie 28,42) Oxford Utd 1 (Umotong 24)
Claire Emslie scored twice on her debut as Bristol City began the second half of the WSL 2 season with a 4-1 win which takes them into second place.
Oxford had gone into the game with three straight wins under their belts but City's firepower was too strong for the U's on the day.
City were quickly into their stride and good hold up play from Millie Farrow ended with her teeing up a chance for Georgia Evans and the midfielder's shot was tipped over the bar by Hannah Cox. Evans again went close to scoring her first goal for the club with another effort from the edge of the area which flew narrowly over.
Emslie had impressed during the opening stages with her direct running at the Oxford defence and one run and cross should have led to them taking the lead, however Loren Dykes sliced her shot back across goal with it at her mercy.
Three minutes later though, Dykes was to make amends by turning provider for the opening goal. The Welsh international sped down the right and her accurate cross was sidefooted home by Farrow for a neat finish.
City were playing some nice, incisive football with Evans having a fine game in midfield and she did well to set up Jodie Brett for a 25-yard strike which dipped narrowly over.
Oxford had spent the first quarter of the game on the back foot but in the 24th minute, they produced a fine move of their own which led to an equaliser. Umotong's header released Georgia Timms on the right and her ball across goal found Holly Pickett beyond the far post. Pickett's shot came back off the bar but Umotong reacted quickly to win the ball off Grace McCatty and bury her shot past Caitlin Leach from close range.
Parity lasted for just four minutes though as great play down the left from Megan Alexander saw her get past Madison Lee and cut the ball back from the goal line to Emslie whose shot took a slight deflection but found the far top corner of the net.
Oxford almost levelled the scores once again but Umotong was foiled by an excellent double save by Leach, who blocked her initial shot before getting up to pull off an equally good stop from the rebound.
The double save proved to be a pivotal moment in the match as City inflicted a double punishment with half time approaching. First, a short corner led to Brett's cross being headed away by Umotong, but Chloe Arthur returned the ball into the area for Emslie who gave Cox no chance with a superb curling shot inside the far post.
Before Oxford could recover, City hit them with a fourth goal a minute later. Arthur's ball over the top was chased down by Farrow who shrugged off two challenges before sliding a low shot into the corner.
The first opportunity of the second half went the way of Oxford as Ella Franklin-Fraiture's pass released Timms on the right and her shot was saved at the near post by Leach.
The pace of the home attack had been a constant threat during the first half but Oxford defended well after the break and restricted chances. City's first threatening effort in the second half came on the hour as Alexander crossed from the left for fellow full back Flo Allen whose header was saved. Minutes later, a good flick from Dykes released McCatty in space in the area but Rosie Lane came to rescue for Oxford with a fine saving tackle.
Brett forced a save from Cox after exchanging passes with Poppy Wilson and a good run by Olivia Fergusson almost saw her break through before being halted by a good challenge from Laura Rafferty as Oxford, who had been dealt a double blow by losing midfield duo Katherine Nutman and Lauren Haynes to injury, had tightened up considerably in the second half.
The last chance of the match fell to Oxford as Mollie Dyer chased down a long ball from Ellie Noble before her left foot shot was saved by Leach, but all in all it had been a very encouraging night for City after having lost their previous two games.
Bristol City: Caitlin Leach, Flo Allen, Megan Alexander, Jodie Brett, Grace McCatty, Katie Jones, Chloe Arthur (sub Poppy Wilson 68mins), Georgia Evans, Millie Farrow, Loren Dykes (sub Charlie Estcourt 68mins), Claire Emslie (sub Olivia Fergusson 68mins). Subs not used: Hannah Reid, Paige Sawyer, Frankie Brown.
Oxford Utd: Hannah Cox, Madison Lee, Jess Frampton, Lauren Haynes (sub Ellie Noble 71mins), Laura Rafferty, Rosie Lane, Ini Umotong (sub Mollie Dyer 81mins), Katherine Nutman (sub Sophie Baker 63mins), Georgia Timms, Ella Franklin-Fraiture, Holly Pickett. Subs not used: Charlotte Deeley, Demi Lambourne.
(top) Georgia Evans (on ground) goes close with a first half effort on goal
(middle) Claire Emslie takes on Rosie Lane
(bottom) Millie Farrow holds off Rosie Lane on the way to scoring her second goal
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