• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Oxford United Women beat AFC Bournemouth in League Cup

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 26, 2022

LIAM Gilbert celebrated his century of matches in charge of Oxford United Women, with a penalty shoot-out victory in the League Cup.

The U’s won 5-3 on penalties at AFC Bournemouth Women, following a goalless draw after 120 minutes.

The hosts pressed United from the beginning, forcing Gilbert’s side into early mistakes.

With eight minutes on the clock, Molly Clark fired a free-kick just over the bar for the home team.

Two minutes later, at the other end of the pitch, Jess Gray got down the right and found Carly Johns, whose effort resulted in a goalmouth scramble.

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The U’s then began to dominate and had a number of chances towards the end of the first half, but couldn’t find a breakthrough.

Bournemouth came out strong in the second period, and in the 52nd minute, Rose Kite made a double save to keep the tie goalless.

Minutes later, Riva Casley, captaining the side while Lauren Haynes was rested, rose at the back post and looped a header onto the top of the crossbar.

Neither side carved out a clear chance in extra-time, with the best opportunity falling to Naomi Cole, who volleyed into the hands of Katie Scadding.

Johns, Casley, Cole and Leah Burridge all scored for United in the shoot-out, before Kite made a save.

She was adjudged to be off her line but then repeated the trick, making a second save.

Cheryl Williams then stepped up to win the tie for United.

After the game, Gilbert praised his players for keeping cool heads in the shoot-out.

He said: “We knew Bournemouth would be a very good team, they’re very well organised and at times, they were on top of the game, and at times we were.

“We’d like to have been more clinical in the final third because I thought some of our build-up play was fantastic.

“To have the mental determination and resilience to be cool when taking the penalties was brilliant to see.

“Those types of challenges you can’t manufacture.”

Kite added: “Bournemouth are a very good side and they battled well.

“We didn’t put our chances away when we had those opportunities, meaning we had to go into extra-time and obviously it resulted in a penalty shoot-out.

“I’m glad we got it in the end, we deserved it.”

On her double save in the shoot-out, Kite said: “It’s difficult, I had to psyche myself up.

“You’ve got to be in the moment and trust which side you go, and just go for it.”