|Newbury Ladies First Team were again at home, when they entertained Oxford City Ladies in a Premier Division league fixture. The two teams had played out a 2-2 draw back in early September, but Newbury were expecting a tougher encounter this time round, as Oxford City had been able to add to and strengthen their squad since then.
The initial early pressure came from the visitors and so it was no surprise when they were able to open the scoring after eight minutes, as Newbury failed to clear properly from a corner. As is so often the case this season, Newbury found themselves behind, but they were able to steady the ship and gradually grow into the game. The home side scoring an equaliser in the twentieth minute from one of their own corners. Ellie Reed’s in-swinger dropped inside the six yard box to Michelle Beverley, who with her back to goal, played the ball into the path of the on-rushing Rebecca Chitolie and she slammed home for 1-1.
There was nothing to separate the two sides at the half time break, with the scores still tied at one apiece, and Newbury were pleased with their efforts so far. They were still in the contest and felt confident to go for the win.
With Reed having to be replaced in in the 55th minute due to a small injury concern, a big moment in the match came on 68 minutes as a penalty kick was awarded to Oxford this was amidst strong protests from the Newbury players, but to no avail. It was a ‘soft’ penalty decision and up until that point, the visitors hadn’t looked like scoring in the second period. The spot kick was duly dispatched however and Oxford’s players were buoyed to once again take the lead.
Then an even bigger moment followed almost immediately Newbury’s Chitolie was put clean through for a one-on-one chance. Agonisingly for Newbury, she sent her shot just wide of the upright and Oxford City escaped. That had been a huge let-off for the visitors. And the game really swung beyond Newbury’s reach, when just four minutes later, Oxford went down the other end and scored a third goal. They added a fourth too in the 80th minute and Newbury were really down on their luck and down on their feet. The 4-1 score-line was not reflective of the match, or the sterling efforts of Newbury’s players. But it was Oxford City who would be taking all three points back up the A34.
Match report by Sue Hewett
|Players: Erin Davis-Donne, Becky Anderson (Capt), Leanne Saunders, Sam Atkins, Noella Rodricks, Michelle Beverley, Ellie Reed, Gabriely Da Silva, Jo Walsh-Perks, Rebecca Chitolie, Lorna Kinder-Parr, Lauren Hanson, Molly Baker, Tracey Beales.