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Oxford United vs Oxford City: Cup Final on the Horizon

A long-awaited game for women’s football in Oxfordshire now falls just over a week away. 

Both teams have fought their way to the final, in their own dramatic fashion, and the big day is nearly here. 

The first to secure their place in the final was Oxford United Women, who have tallied up a total of 44 goals in the competition so far. They made their goal-scoring threat clear in their opening game of the campaign, back in November when they put a total of 21 goals past Barton United Ladies. 

They continued in this fashion in January, putting 8 past Procision Oxford Ladies in the quarter-finals of the competition. 

Following this, a planned double-header on February 18th was set up at Court Place Farm to decide on the finalists, but in the end only one game was played out to the full. In line with their cup campaign so far, United netted 15 times in the fixture to cruise into the final. 

Equally as impressive, their defensive record across the competition stands strong as they have kept a clean sheet in every cup game thus far, giving their opposition, Oxford City, an attacking challenge to think about ahead of the fixture. 

City did not have such a high-scoring campaign, but they have certainly shown fight and character to earn their spot in the final.

Their opening game saw them win 2-4 on the road against Tower Hill Ladies in a highly contested fixture.

Their quarter-final draw saw them in action against Kidlington Youth Ladies back in January. A more comfortable win for the Hoops saw them score 3 on home turf, and keep their first clean sheet in the competition. 

City’s semi-final fixture, however, was far from comfortable. A 61st-minute regional power cut saw the original fixture abandoned, meaning that Oxford United Women had to wait to find out who they'd be facing in the final. 

This, however, may have been somewhat of a relief for City who found themselves a goal down in the fixture and didn’t look as though they could turn the game around. Georgia Healy confirmed that her side’s “heads had dropped” and that they “weren’t in a very good position as a team” at this point in the game. 

Upon the replay, City again found themselves a goal down early on. Differing from the initial fixture, however, Walton’s side showed good spirit to get themselves back into the game just 10 minutes after with an Emily Harris goal. 

These two early goals left the playing field level at full-time, which sent the game to penalties. With both teams scoring their first 5, sudden death came into play, with Summer Major stepping up to send City through to the final. 

Both teams will be working hard towards the final, but they both have a very different weekend ahead which will affect their preparation. Whilst City have a break in their fixture list, United are lined up to face MK Dons Women this weekend in their penultimate league game of the season. 

A win at the weekend has the potential to move United into third place, dependent on the Rugby Borough result, and would put the team in high spirits ahead of the final.

They will have to do this without defender Shelly Provan, however, who the club have recently confirmed has ruptured her ACL. On the matter, First Team Manager Sam Rose stated “Shelly’s really important for what we do, so it’s a big loss to have a senior player that’s not going to be able to play for the foreseeable future. We’re really disappointed, not just for the team but also for Shelly.

“It’s important that she gets our full support, and that we really support her with the next step of her recovery, and I’ve got no doubt she’ll be back”.

Provan has made 23 appearances so far this season, being a prominent part of the United back-line and having played a huge role in both their league and cup successes. 

This isn’t the only chance for the club to win silverware this season, however, with the development side always approaching a cup final tie. Having been unbeaten this season, and with their most recent victory having won them the league for the second successive campaign, the squad will be looking forward to the fixture this weekend.

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