Hunter Hero for City with Penalty Save
By Wayne Holden
Oxford City Ladies U18's came from behind to win 2-1 away to Swindon Town in a mouth watering local derby.
City travelled to Lambourn Sports to play local rivals Swindon Town, and new they would have to be at their best to take 3 points and remain top of the league. And this game proved to be a cracker.
City started the strongest, and within the first 10 minutes had 4 great chances to take the lead, as Leading scorer Kiera Isaac & strike partner Page could not find the finishes touch to put City in front, and they were punished on 14 minutes, as against the run of play, Swindon broke away, and the impressive Kathryn Bach raced through and calmly finished to put Swindon 1-0 up with their first attack. City continued to dominate the half but could not get that all important equaliser mainly down to some fantastic saves from the Swindon keeper.
The next goal would be vital, and City continued the 2nd half with some fine football, but still could not get the breakthrough and 8 minutes into the 2nd half, they were dealt a blow when the referee gave Swindon a dubious penalty, after Dara Austin's perfectly timed tackle was adjudged to be a foul. Justice was down however, as Lucy Hunter pulled off a great penalty save to keep City well & truly in the game. This really spurred City on, but City just could not score, and it looked like it might just been one of those days, but the turning point came on 65 minutes, as manager Holden brought Lara Althorp on and changed the formation to 3-5-2, and 3 minutes later it paid off, as Althorp scored with only her 2nd touch, as Isaac chased down a lost cause in the corner took on her opponent, and picked out Althorp's near post run, and she clinically finished to put the game all square. Then 5 minutes later, another one of the subs, Shelley Knight was involved, as she burst through into the box, and was pulled back, and the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Captain Courtney Sumner kept her cool to send the Swindon keeper the wrong way, and City were 2-1 up. Swindon tried to get themselves back in the game, but could not break down the impressive City defence. Molly Lygo had a fantastic 25 harder that rattled the crossbar in the last minute, and then much to the relief of City players, management and supporters, the ref blew the final whistle.
A fantastic game of football, which would have been injustice if City would not have come away with 3 points, after dominating most periods of the game, but credit to Swindon defenders, and the Swindon keeper who pulled off some outstanding saves.
City remain 3 points clear at the top, and can now look forward to next week's League cup semi final at home to Aylesbury United.
Team: Hunter, Austin, Bostock, Leach, Parsons, Harrison, McCabe, Sumner, Lygo, Page, Isaac. Subs: Larkin, Knight, Althorp, Richards, Holden.
Goalscorers: Althorp, Sumner (pen)
Player of Match: Lucy Hunter