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Gillingham comfortably overcame Combination rivals Oxford City 6-0 at Lordswood on Sunday to move into the Second Round of the F.A.Women's Cup.
The pace and power of the Gills forward line created numerous chances throughout the match and but for excellent goalkeeping by Hannah Cox, the score could easily have reached double figures. City, with no substitutes available, worked very hard to limit the damage and showed some attacking flair of their own but the outcome was never in doubt.
Gills took eleven minutes to open the scoring through a powerful Dani Farmer strike and they doubled their lead as Natalie Crinean sidefooted home when set up by Ashlee Hincks on the left wing on 20 minutes. Oxford's best chance came from a 24th minute free kick but home keeper Katie Duffy dived to scramble the ball away.
Vicky Ashton-Jones was very lively on the right and she scored Gills' third on 39 minutes to finish a Hincks breakaway after a spell of Oxford pressure. Between these goals, Cox had kept the score down with a series of great reaction saves from the Gillingham forwards as their pace brought them into one-on-one confrontations with the City keeper.
The largely one-sided nature of the tie continued in the second half as the hard pressed Oxford defence tried to cope with the direct running of Crinean and Hincks, the skills and pace of Farmer and Ashton-Jones, backed up by the midfield dominance of Deanna Cooper . Hincks scored the goal her performance deserved on 50 minutes, rounding Cox to tuck the ball away. She was denied another on 63 minutes when hitting the underside of the bar but Farmer tapped in the fifth.
Chances continued to come and go until near the end when Crinean finished a through pass expertly on 88 minutes to round off the scoring.
Oxford passed the ball well at times to build promising attacks, with Lou Lloyd, Steph Mobbs and Felicity West impressive, but the Gills back four mopped up nearly everything to complete the clean sheet. It would be interesting to see Gillingham up against a Premier League team in a future round as they would undoubtedly give anyone a good test, especially in front of a supportive home crowd. Oxford City will seek improved league form and to retain the County Cup they won last season.
Gillingham: Katie Duffy, Whitney Judd, Lesley Kay, Deanna Cooper, Kelly Herrett, Rebecca Lyon, Dani Farmer, Ashlee Hincks, Natalie Crinean, Anna Broad, Vicky Ashton-Jones. Subs: Laura East, Jade Johnson, Jodie Mugford, Rachel Ahern, Charlotte Abbott.
Oxford City: Hannah Cox, Abi Smith, Heidi Bates, Louisa Craig, Lauren Carnell, Felicity West, Steph Kubat, Zoe Hill, Emma Kidd, Lou Lloyd, Steph Mobbs.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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