City cling on to win the A420 Derby
Oxford City Ladies U18's clung on to beat rivals Swindon Town by the odd goal of 5.
City knew that nothing but 3 points would be enough if they wanted it to go down to a Championship decider next Saturday against Winchester. And everything went to plan in the first half, as City dominated the action with some breath taking football, and were rewarded in the 3rd minute, as Kiera Isaac's snap shot was saved by the Swindon keeper, but striker Ellie Larkin reacted the quickest to pounce and slot home. City piled on the pressure, and doubled their lead on 24 minutes, as Molly Lygo hit an absolute screamer from 25 yards, giving the Swindon keeper no chance. 37 minutes and it was 3-0 as Kiera Isaac picked up Sarah Harrison's through ball, turned her marker and coolly slotted home for her 23rd goal of the season.
An excellent first half for City, but a lacklustre performance in the 2nd, as credit to Swindon who never let their heads drop, and reduced the arrears within 2 minutes of the restart as Helena Diaz-Butcher headed home at the far post from Meghan Larkin's corner. The game then swung from end to end, as both sides had good chances to score, but with 5 minutes remaining Swindon were awarded a dubious penalty, as the forward was brought down quite clearly 5 yards outside the penalty box. Meghan Larkin kept her nerve to slot home the penalty to make it 3-2. City were clearly showing nerves, and in the final minute thought they had blown a 3 goal lead, but a fantastic save from Lucy Hunter ensured the 3 points went to City.
Although City can be pleased and relieved at the same time to get the 3 points, it may have come at a cost as they lost influential winger Lygo to what looks a bad looking knee injury.
City can now look forward to their Championship decider next week at home to Winchester City. Winchester need just a point to be crowned champions, whereas City have to win.
Team: Hunter, Austin, Leach, Bostock, Parsons, Harrison, McCabe, Sumner, Lygo, Larkin, Isaac. Subs: Althorp, Richards, Holden, Page.
Player of Match: Amy Leach