DARTS, IN THE GAME UNTIL THE 97th MINUTE
Match report: Oxford Utd Women 2 Dartford FC Women 0
Adobe Women's FAC 2nd Round Proper, played on Sunday 26th November 2023
At Oxford City FC’s ground. Kick-off 2pm
DFCW 1st team: Jade Charlton, Charlie Torry, Chana Hinds, Jo Woodgates, Georgie Davis, Meghan McKeag,
Lizzie Adams, Shannon Wason, Emily Vaughan, Paris Smith, Nicha Dyett
Subs used: Shauni Griffiths, Emily Read, Emily Woodhouse
Subs (bench, not used): Hannah Cleary, Gabby Howell, Bethany Powell, Hannah Thomas
DARTS WERE STILL IN IT RIGHT UP TO 97th MINUTE
Darts lined up as Jade in goal and then two banks of four with Emily Vaughan playing just behind Nicha Dyett, with Lizzie Adams & Paris trying their best to team up with Emily Vaughan in the hope of supporting lone-striker Nicha Dyett. The system worked well up to the 66th minute. But even this opening goal for United had a hint of a foul on Lizzie Adams, the kind of foul that had been blown-up for all through the match, but this one was allowed to continue and Oxford slipped the ball through our defence and past Jade to take the lead.
Once Oxford got their noses in front, they then had a ‘purple-patch’ where they fired another five shots at goal with Jade pulling off two miraculous one-on-one saves and three others hitting the woodwork before finally, with Darts pressing for a late equaliser, United had the freedom of room to manoeuvre the final knock-out blow in the 97th minute.
Two tiers in the women’s game (Darts’ 5th tier to Oxford’s 3rd) is quite some difference. Fitness levels and skills are superior but the FA Cup competition is well-known for bringing about a ‘leveller mentality’. This was the case for those opening 66 minutes where Darts had thwarted an excellent passing team in Oxford Utd. But Darts couldn’t somehow find a way of getting Nicha, Paris or Emily into real shooting positions and chances for the Darts were few and far between. Nevertheless, this was a fantastic ‘Backs-to-the-wall’ attempt at thwarting Oxford from scoring and Jade had another memorable match pulling off three magnificent saves (one in the opening 45 minutes and two during Oxford’s purple-patch) and generally commanding her 6-yard box with great purpose, timing and skill.
Dartford were unfortunate in not having the impressive new signing and last week’s debut-girl Xayla-Rae Alberts available for this game through being cup-tied with Dorking. Her adventurous midfield prowess may well have been the key to unlocking Oxford’s very impressive defence who had only conceded one goal in their last four outings prior to this match.
All of the team can hold their heads really high after this season’s FA cup 2nd round proper adventure, and if their first goal had been cancelled out for the foul on Lizzie then who knows what might have happened as the minutes ticked on by towards the 90.
Player of the Match: Jade Charlton for her exceptional display this afternoon
To view Oxford United’s report on the game, which I think is a very true and accurate account (although obviously not mentioning ‘that’ foul) then visit:
https://www.oufc.co.uk/women/news/2023/ ... 26-nov-23/
[With thanks to Oxford Utd FC Women and Reporter, Billy Lawrence for permission to reproduce]
Report by Tony Brown
Photos by Taur Everard
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