City U18's Lose Final in Extra Time
By Wayne Holden
Oxford City Ladies U18's played Winchester City for the 2nd week running this time in the League Cup Final at Milton United.
After last week's emphatic 9-2 win over their rivals, City knew they couldn't go into this Cup Final with any complacency, as Winchester would surely come looking for revenge.
The game started very cagey with both sides looking nervous, but it was City who drew first blood on 18 minutes as Kiera Isaac put Ellie Larkin through, and she kept her cool to clinically finish and put City 1-0 up. The remainder of the half was quite scrappy, and either keeper had not much to do, but Winchester got an equaliser right on the stroke of half-time in controversial fashion, as keeper Lucy Hunter gathered the ball, only to have the ball kicked out of her hands when she quite clearly had the ball in her grasp, and this gave the Winchester striker an easy tap in. Cruel on City who hadn't really looked in any danger without playing that well themselves.
The 2nd half started and City had 3 great chances early on, as first Larkin went through only to be foiled by an excellent save from the Winchester keeper, then a minute later Althorp somehow fired over when the goal was at her mercy, and then had another great chance as she went through only for the keeper to pull off another fine save. City couldn't keep up the momentum though, and the game then singed Winchester's way, but they didn't really trouble keeper Hunter, until the final minute when a pinpoint header from 5 yards was somehow kept out by Hunter with a fantastic save. Final whistle goes, so extra time to be played.
Extra time started, and Winchester took a grip on the game, and scored within 2 minutes, and city just couldn't get themselves going, and players were going down injured or with cramp, and 2 more goals were added to make the final score 4-1 to Winchester, which was cruel on City.
A scrappy game from both sides, City could just not get going, and maybe the jubilation from the week before of putting in an unbelievable performance to what they thought at the time was to win the championship, only then to be told in the week that they hadn't won the league may have taken t out of the goals, as a lot of the players that performed miracles the week before looked jaded and leggy. We have to regroup now, as we now wait on Winchester's last 3 games, knowing that if they win all 3 of their remaining games, then there will be a one of play off match to determine who will be crowned champions.
Team: Hunter, Smith, Leach, Bostock, Parsons, Austin, Harrison, Sumner, McCabe, Larkin, Isaac. Subs: Althorp, Knight, Richards, Holden.
Player of Match: Becci Bostock