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Women Defeat Dons To Go Top


Oxford United Women returned to the top of the FAWNL Southern Premier Division with a 4-1 victory over MK Dons this evening.

Carly Johns scored twice before half time to put the U’s in the driver’s seat, before Taome Oliver and Tash Stephens scored quickly in the second half to earn United a convincing victory, but Mollie Coupar scored in added time for the visitors to write off the U’s’ clean sheet.

Riva Casley, and many inside Court Place Farm, thought she had given Oxford the lead in the fourth minute, volleying Naomi Cole’s in-swinging free kick towards the bottom right corner. Fans were celebrating, but were cut short when Chloe Sansom emerged through the bodies with the ball clasped tightly to her chest.

Early tensions were eased for those in yellow thanks to  Johns’ 18th of the season. Jenna Legg, who has been phenomenal since her arrival, scooped the ball through to Johns, who cut inside and curled the ball over Sansom from the edge of the box to give United the early advantage.

MK gave United a wake up call in the 23rd minute when Rose Kite was forced into a strong save at the rapid feet of Zoe Barrett, followed up by a really important Casley block from the rebound.

United certainly woke up, going straight down the other end and doubling their lead. Who else but Johns was given an inch of space in the box – an inch too much – as she span and fired the ball across Sansom who got a touch on it but not enough to stop it bouncing in off the post. Two for Johns and two for United.

The second goal hurt the visitors and the U’s started to control the tempo of the game, Legg and Oliver popping up all over the pitch to create space and options.

Johns nearly had a first half hat-trick twice, once fed by Tash Stephens but firing over, another flashed across the face of goal after some intricate stepovers and United went into the break two goals to the good.

This United side don’t rest on their laurels, and put the game beyond the Dons quickly after the restart. This time, Johns turned provider, slicing the red defence open and playing Oliver through on goal. The midfielder made no mistake and fired past Sansom in the 53rd minute for her first goal of the season to make it 3-0.

tae goal - mk dons.png

United made a very good MK Dons side look average. adding their fourth of the evening in the 61st minute. Stephens popped up at the back post to latch on to Johns’ driven cross, and confidently finished past Sansom for four.

It wasn’t just in front of goal where United excelled, Casley and Amy Goddard were superb at the centre of defence all evening, giving the visitors very little to work with. Coupar, the League’s second top scorer, did get a consolation goal for the visitors, her strike looping over Kite with seconds remaining.

15 goals in the last three games and a really good performance, one that sends United top of the Southern Premier Division heading into a huge game against Watford away from home this Sunday. See you there.

ATTENDANCE: 343

United: Kite, Stevens, Casley, Goddard, Provan (Gotch 82), Cole (King 82), Oliver (Burridge 68), Legg, McLachlan, Johns (Swaby 75), Stephens

Report by Billy Lawrence, pictures Darrell Fisher