|Newbury Ladies’ first team hosted Oxford City Ladies in the Southern Region Premier League, with Oxford playing catch-up, as this was only their second league match of the season. So it was the visitors who attacked straight from their kick off, forcing a corner after just three minutes. Ayala Truelove clearing for Newbury. Unfortunately in Oxford’s next attack, they opened the scoring, having carved through the Newbury defence. Despite falling a goal behind so early on, Newbury’s players showed great resilience and character, even though there were large periods in the first half when they were penned back and defending wave after wave of Oxford attacks.
Newbury did have one half chance when Ruby Oliver and Gemma Burnett combined. The latter putting the Oxford goalkeeper under extreme pressure. The goalkeeper’s clearance only fell to Newbury’s Becky Anderson just inside the Oxford half. With the goal gaping, she attempted a long shot, but needed more accuracy and power and the chance sadly went begging. Newbury continued to defend resolutely, with Shelley Forster making a number of strong blocks and tackles on the edge of the penalty area. The Oxford threat was nullified and as the half time whistle sounded, Newbury were still in the game. Only one nil to Oxford City at the break.
Newbury started the second half well, with Ellie Reed having two shooting opportunities. The first was more difficult, after a whipped cross into the area from Caz Harkness. Reed was able to connect with the ball, but not find the accuracy to direct it goal-wards. The second chance she created for herself, after making an interception in the final third. This time the goalkeeper needed to make the save, but she gathered well. The game’s decisive moment came in the 57th minute, with Oxford City scoring a second from another corner. This was a big blow to Newbury, as they now needed to score twice to get something from the game. Whilst they were containing Oxford for large periods, they weren’t able to threaten and really test the Oxford keeper at the other end.
As the second half continued and with no change to the two nil score-line, Newbury opted to gamble and changed formation to a 3-player defence. The extra impetus it gave them in attack, almost paid off, when a Reed through ball released Burnett. She showed good strength to hold off the defender and fire in a low shot, but the Oxford keeper again made a good save. But missing that extra Newbury defender, next saw the Oxford striker played in for a one-one-one chance, which Newbury’s Carly Passfield came out of her goal to save excellently. However this was a warning sign and just two minutes later, Oxford extended their lead to three goals. This wrapped up the victory in reality for the visitors and they were able to add a fourth goal in the game’s last five minutes. Four nil the final result that saw Oxford City take all three points back to Court Place Farm.
Newbury Ladies first team remain in second place in the Southern Region Women’s Premier Division, replaced by Ascot United at the top, whilst Oxford City moved up to third, just one point behind Newbury.
Match report by Sue Hewett
|Players: Carly Passfield, Ayala Truelove, Leanne Saunders, Sam Atkins, Shelley Forster, Jana Penazova, Ellie Reed, Caz Harkness (Capt), Amy McNab, Amie Barnard, Gemma Burnett, Ruby Oliver, Becky Anderson, Tracey Beales.