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Watford 3 (Davy 45,56, Ferrandi 48) Oxford Utd 2 (Franklin-Fraiture 14, Umotong 20)
Watford moved level on points with Millwall Lionesses and opponents Oxford United after a second successive WSL 2 comeback home victory.
Having overturned a one-goal deficit against Everton, the Golden Girls went one better against the U's. Deservedly trailing to a very good Oxford first half showing, Watford crucially reduced the arrears just before the break, then powered ahead by the hour. A very determined last half hour from all the Watford players held off late pressure to seal a fine win.
Oxford took the lead with a delightful move, Holly Pickett's chipped though ball being lobbed home by Ella Franklin-Fraiture in the 14th minute. Ini Umotong doubled the advantage with a trademark second, outpacing the central defence before firing home on 20 minutes.
Nothing had been seen of Watford's attack and Oxford were very close to extending their advantage on a couple of occasions. Right on half time though, Watford found a way back with a fine goal. Ellie Mason cleverly flicked on a right wing cross for Anne-Laure Davy to beat the last defender and finish past Hannah Cox.
Watford were much stronger in the second half and soon levelled. Giulia Ferrandi, who had a fine match, timed her run to perfection to meet a through ball to beat the Oxford defence before shooting past Cox.
Cox made a fine save from an Anneka Nuttall free kick, then Mason's drilled corner caused havoc in the Oxford defence. Another Mason corner provided the winning goal, Davy leaping high to power home her second and Watford's third.
Oxford took a while to respond from this stunning reversal, indeed Ferrandi went close to a fourth on 67 minutes, firing over when well placed. However, with Umotong, Franklin-Fraiture and Georgia Timms all threatening, it took fine displays by Ruby Baxter and Sahara Osborne-Ricketts in particular to restrict Oxford to half chances as the pressure mounted.
Watford are starting to recover from a very difficult start to the season. First WSL goals from Davy and Ferrandi were the highlights but there were plenty of other strong performances.
Watford: Lucy Gillett, Amber Tullett, Jordan Littleboy, Nicole Pepper, Anneka Nuttall, Ellie Mason, Phoebe Read (sub Charlotte Kerr 79mins), Sahara Osbourne-Ricketts, Giulia Ferrandi (sub Hannah Samuels 87mins), Anne-Laure Davy, Ruby Baxter. Subs not used: Sophie Cheadle, Mollie Burgess, Lauren Jordinson.
Oxford Utd: Hannah Cox, Jess Frampton, Riva Casley, Rosie Lane, Ini Umotong, Lauren Allison, Ella Franklin-Fraiture, Holly Pickett (sub Stephanie-Anne Weston 79mins), Laura Nichol, Laura Rafferty, Madison Lee. Subs not used: Demi Lambourne, Sophie Baker, Georgia Timms, Charlotte Deeley, Ellie Noble.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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