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Oxford City 3 Milton Keynes City 1
Oxford City consolidated their position at the head of the Southern Region Premier Division with a 3-1 home win over Milton Keynes City.
On a day when the weather claimed most of the League and County Cup fixtures all over the country, Oxford came from a goal down to lead 3-1 at the interval at their impressive Marsh Lane base and. though the visitors competed well throughout, the home side had the majority of chances in a goalless second period.
Oxford started at an express pace and ran the MK defence ragged in the opening minutes. April England and Molly Lygo put good chances wide in the first five minutes then visiting keeper Amy Butler made the first of several fine saves to deny England on ten minutes. The same player then hit the post and a follow up shot went over.
MK scored with their first effort on goal and it was a superb shot from 25 yards by Kelly Crompton from wide right which flew in over home keeper Laura Allsop on 16 minutes. Oxford were level within four minutes with a sweeping counter attack which left England clear on the left to drive home a powerful cross shot.
Oxford then took the lead on 24 minutes with another impressive move up the left with three first time passes sending Lygo clear of the defence to finish confidently past Butler. The MK keeper then denied Rosie McCabe with a fine reaction save low to her left on 34 minutes. Kiera Isaac had an outstanding match on the right wing for Oxford and she set up England for the third goal close to the break with a tricky run and measured cross for a close range headed finish.
MK returned with determination, with skipper Danielle Metcalfe leading by example and Lynsey Patmore and fellow defender Bianca Luttman covering and blocking in central defence whilst Laura Geyton and Natalie Keefe fought hard to create further forward. Oxford could not find a way to carve out chances as easily as before. although MK were equally well contained in attack by a strong Oxford back line.
It was only in the final ten minutes that Oxford really threatened to extend their lead. McCabe sent in a 25-yard drive which smacked the bar, then she hit a volley from a Marisa Chamberlain cross which Butler saved. Several Oxford corners were well defended and both teams had come out of the match with credit for a committed and skilful effort on the day.
Oxford City and Marlow lead the way in a very competitive league, but with Southampton Women and Chesham United having games in hand, the destination of the title is still anyone's guess. MK City showed enough against the league leaders to suggest that they can finish the season strongly in their final six matches.
Laura Allsop, Dara Austin, Marisa Chamberlain, Nicole Miles, Rebecca Bostick, Steph Mobbs, Kiera Isaac, Rosie McCabe, April England, Jane Younger, Molly Lygo. Subs: Mollie Avery, Becca Howard, Rachel Mariam.
Milton Keynes City:
Amy Butler, Bianca Luttman, Laura Geyton, Lynsey Patmore, Nicola Walterman, Kelly Crompton, Jaqueline King, Katie Crawley, Mia Skaarup, Natalie Keefe, Danielle Metcalfe. Subs: Elle Harris, Danielle Rolph, Natalie McGonigle.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Jane Younger challenges Mia Skaarup
(middle) Molly Lygo is pursued by Elle Harris
(bottom) Kiera Isaac gets in a cross past Nicola Walterman
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