Banbury United Women 6 Headington Ladies 2
United's pre-season campaign got off to an excellent start with a convincing win over higher level Headington Ladies
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United got off to the best of starts when they took the lead after just 50 seconds, Catherine Howse latching on to a through ball from Emily Parker before finishing in some sytle, striking the ball high into the top corner of the net from 12 yards. Howse went close to getting a second goal on 10 minutes when Josie Clark put her through on goal down the left hand side but the United striker’s shot, as the visiting custodian came out to narrow the angle, hit the bottom of the near post before being hacked away by a defender.
After a quarter of an hour Headington were back on level terms and the visitors would have the better chances in the remainder of the half with Katie McLean in the Banbury goal coming to her side’s rescue on a couple of occasions with good saves.
Banbury were better at the start of the second half and it was thus rather against the run of play that Headington would take the lead on 55 minutes. Banbury responded to this set-back in the best of fashion with two goals in the next five minutes to lead 3-2. Firstly, Emily Alcock passed the ball through to Parker on the edge of the Headington area and though she was tackled by a defender the ball bounced up invitingly for Jenny Hoggins 12 yards out who fired the ball home into the corner of the net. Then a ball in from the left put Josie Clark in on goal and she made no mistake lofting the ball over the exposed visiting goalkeeper from just inside the penalty area.
Though Headington were denied by the woodwork on 70 minutes with McLean then making a great save from the rebound, it would be Banbury who would dominate the last 15 minutes scoring three more goals.
On 75 minutes some excellent inter-passing by the Banbury United Women’s team ended with Kailey Hardy striking the ball home from down the left of the Headington penalty area from around ten yards. Three minutes later and a cross/shot from the left by Hardy sailed over the goalkeeper’s head into the top corner of the net. Then with three minutes to go Clark went on a great run, taking the ball inside from just a few yards from the right touch line to the edge of the six yard box before competently slotting the ball home.
Overall, it was a very promising performance, particularly in the second half, and bodes well for the women’s league campaign which begins in September.
Photo of Heidi Malcom-Day by Edwin Barson