REPORT: OXFORD 2 ALBION 2
- Ini Umotong makes a return to Oxford and scores
- Oxford score two quick-fire goals in the second half
- Sophie Perry scores a stunning equalising free-kick
- Albion share the spoils with a 2-2 draw
Brighton & Hove Albion managed to draw their FA WSL2 game away at Oxford United 2-2, after a stunning free-kick from substitute Sophie Perry ensured the Seagulls left Court Place Farm with a point.
Hope Powell made two changes to the side that lost to Millwall in their last FA WSL2 outing, with Vicky Ashton-Jones and Kate Natkiel retuning to the side in favour of Perry and Bronwen Thomas, whilst Lucy Gillett returned to league action following suspension.
Like their previous games this season, Albion started quickly and almost immediately found a lucky breakthrough but Natkiel’s looping cross just skimmed past the post.
Oxford had their first chance of the match when Taome Oliver found herself some room in the box, but Laura Rafferty blocked her shot before the ball rebounded to safety.Albion then tried to break the deadlock, and former Oxford player Ini Umotong looking a real threat.
The Nigerian striker marauded past a couple of Oxford players before pulling the ball back to Natkiel, only to see her shot saved by Demi Lambourne.
The same happened moments later as Umotong once again found room, before dragging back for Natkiel but her ensuing effort was skewed wide.
Oxford then began to press with real menace and had the best chance of the game, when Oliver’s cross-cum-shot hit the post before landing safely in the hands of Gillett.
Brighton then produced their closest chance of the game after a slick passing mov,e that started with Aileen Whelan passing accurately to Natkiel before the forward cut it back to Kirsty Barton, but she couldn’t keep her effort down.
Albion resumed their intense play after the break, as Perry nearly found Whelan in the box but she couldn’t quite get a shot off.The Seagulls soon made their hard work pay off however, as Umotong managed to bundle the ball home in the box after a free-kick from Perry couldn’t be claimed by Lambourne.
Oxford soon got back into the game though against the run of play. Ellis Hillman tricked her way through midfield and accurately placed a pass through to Chloe Chivers for the striker to slot home.
More agony came for Brighton minutes later as Ella Franklin-Fraiture found some space on the edge of the box before squaring to Oliver, who rifled high into the goal.Albion tried desperately to get back into the game as numerous chances went begging, but they soon got what they deserved when Perry curled in a beautiful free-kick with under five minutes to go to ensure the Seagulls left Oxford with a point.
ALBION: Gillett; Ashton-Jones, Rafferty, F Whelan, Roe (Perry 46); A Whelan, Buet, Barton (Legg), Gibbons; Natkiel, Umotong (Somes 74).
SUBS NOT USED: Sansom (GK) Thomas, Ritchie.