Entertaining game ends pointless
By Mark Rozzier
Third place Oxford get the better of fourth place Woodley.
Playing into a strong wind during the first half, United was unfortunate to go behind to a goal in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time.
Despite the conditions Woodley enjoyed good possession and was dangerous on the attack and as early as the second minute a good ball by Ruth Pearson, found Rosie Page-Smith whose pass narrowly evaded the lively Amie Benton.
With the Woodley defence led by Charlie Evans, who enjoyed an outstanding game at centre back despite picking up a finger injury late in the first half, playing well and Nicole Haines dominating her goal area the visitors were unable to make the most of the conditions notwithstanding winning a number of corners and one goal bound effort being deflected for another corner.
The thirty sixth minute saw Paige Hunt chip the ball forward to Page-Smith but the advancing City keeper Maisie Hastings was first to get to the ball while three minute later Benton saw her shot go narrowly wide of the upright following a Sawyer pass, who in turn was denied by Hastings in the forty third minute.
With the half late into stoppage Haines made an outstanding save to concede a corner which United cleared only for a shot to rebound of the cross bar and a City striker reacting first to prod the ball pass Haines.
Sawyer started the second half in lively form with a shot from distance narrowly going over the cross bar while City put an effort wide of the post.
Ten minutes into the half Hastings gathers a Page-Smith shot following good work from Preston-Morris and from the clearance Alice Bates attacks down City’s right flank and puts a low cross into the United goal area which unfortunately is helped into the net for an own goal by Ruth Pearson.
Shortly afterwards Bates put in another low cross that Haines parried to an offside player who saw her goal disallowed.
A change in Woodley’s formation saw them continue to press but unable to find the net with shots either comfortably collected by Hastings or going wide of the target.
Haines, Hunt (Preston-Morris), Wilkins, Stringer, Surtees, Evans, Penny (Measham), Sawyer, Page-Smith, Pearson (Thomas), Benton (Lambourne)