Brookes Varsity: OUWAFC Blues Match Report
OUWAFC Blues 2-1 Oxford Brookes
The Blues faced Brookes University in front a packed Iffley crowd on Friday night. Despite the event being dominated by Oxford victories in recent years, the Blues’ recent poor form meant Brookes were clearly confident they could replicate last season’s win in the cup final, and entered the fixture as favourites.
The Blues showed that their difficulties this season were more a reflection of the quality of the Midlands 1A league than their own ability, as they took the lead after just 4 minutes with Ella Vickers Strutt finishing confidently in the bottom corner after being played through by a well-timed pass. Brookes grew into the game after the restart, but outstanding performances from both Charlotte Rougier and Issy Stainsby in defence ensured the Blues’ lead remained at the break.
The second half saw Brookes dominate possession, but again the Blues’ defence was more than equal to it. The introduction of Monique Pedroza accompanied a Blues resurgence and, with just under 20 minutes to play, Oxford doubled their lead. After some neat play in central midfield, a long range pass from Taiye Lawal picked out Rani Wermes on the right wing who was able to beat her player with sheer pace and dispatch the ball coolly past the keeper. Brookes’ sustained pressure eventually paid off, and they took advantage of the extra woman whilst Stainsby was off the pitch receiving treatment for a knock, to make the score 2-1 from a long-range shot. Brookes continued to press for the remainder of the half but were more than held off and the Blues retained their varsity title. Woman of the Match was awarded to Wermes, whose dominant display led to the goal that ultimately proved to be the difference between the sides.
The Blues’ first win of the season could not have come at a better time. They will hope to keep this momentum going in the cup as they face the University of South Wales this Wednesday in the last fixture of the term.
Lucy Harper and Viola Lough