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Women's Football News
It was a night of unusual occurances at Court Place Farm stadium in Oxford on Wednesday.
The kick off was delayed by ten minutes to allow the queues outside the ground to gain access to an Oxford City Ladies match. Two male steakers made an unwanted brief appearance in the second half and a commentator added helpful player identification details throughout the game. The visitors to the South West Combination team were out of the ordinary as well...none other than triple winners Arsenal Ladies.
A crowd of 760 watched a demonstration of top level play as the champions ran up thirteen unanswered goals . In the first half, the Academy and reserve forwards scored five times, the pick of which was a super left foot strike from 25 yards by Cally Rowell. After the break, the City defence was faced with a forward line of internationals ...Helen Lander of Wales, Kim Little of Scotland, Gemma Davison of England and Lauren Bruton of England under-17s.
The fact that this combination found the net only eight times in 45 minutes was mainly down to a superb display of goalkeeping by 19-year-old Hannah Cox, who stated in the programme that her favourite football moment was to have once been offered a place at the Arsenal Academy. It was easy to see how she obtained this honour as she made a dozen excellent saves to keep the score within bounds, the best of which was when she flung herself to push away a Jennifer Beattie header from four yards out which was aimed at the bottom corner, Backed by a large group of friends and supporters behind her goal, Cox and her defenders tried their hardest to stem the flow of attacks.
For the record, Little and Davison scored hat-tricks and Bruton twice and local girl Sahara Osbourne-Ricketts went close on three occasions for the Gunners. The local team kept trying to play their own passing game and managed some attacks throughout the match, coming close to scoring in the first half but the occasion was set up for the outstanding talents of the visitors to entertain the bumper crowd and they did not disappoint. Oxford City F C produced a sixty page programme for the event and the excellent facilities at the venue were very popular.
The local team have just started their second season at Combination level having finished seventh last season and are Oxfordshire County Cup holders. They also provide the majority of the team for the Oxfordshire county representative team in the South East competition. The club run five girls teams through the age groups and will have three ladies teams competing in leagues this season. Hopeflly , this enjoyable event will encourage more support for the teams and even more players to take part.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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