Match Reports: OUWAFC Blues and Furies
14/11/18: Birmingham 4-1 Blues
The Blues travelled to Birmingham this week to face the University of Birmingham’s Women’s 2nds. The hope of a good start for the Blues was hampered by some poor navigation from one car of the travelling team, forcing them to start the game without the full 11. By the time the additional players made it the Blues were already 2-0 down and at half time they found themselves 3-0 down.
With all 14 players available in the second half the Blues found some form, looking a much more threatening and competitive team. Katie Plummer and Rani Wermes were both finding success down the wings and some good hold up play from Ella Vickers Strutt allowed the midfield to join in the attacks. The highlight of the second half was an outstanding finish from Ellana Slade who found the top corner with her left foot from just outside the area. Unfortunately, the Blues could not keep Birmingham out for the entire second half and the game finished 4-1.
Although disappointed, the Blues’ second half performance was encouraging. The team travelled back to Oxford to finalise preparations for Brookes Varsity that Friday.
21/11/18 BUCS Trophy: Blues 1-2 University of South Wales
The Blues were looking to follow their Brookes Varsity win with a good cup performance against the University of South Wales. USW are currently second in Western 1A having won 3 of their first 5 games. Despite being bottom of Midlands 1A themselves, the Blues found the first 20 minutes of the game surprisingly comfortable, having both time and space to play their football. Wingers Rani Wermes and Katie Plummer in particular were dominant and appeared to have the beating of their defenders. However it was USW who took the lead at the 30 minute mark from a corner against the run of play. The Blues didn’t panic, switched the ball well and continued to play their football. They were rewarded with a quick equalizer, Brigid Lahiff finishing first-time from a Wermes cross. A few sloppy passes from the Blues allowed USW back into the game - some heroic defending and goal line clearances were all that kept the score to 1-1 at half time.
The second half saw the two sides remain equally matched until around 20 minutes to go. A low cross between Garcia and her defenders was pounced on by a USW striker. The game finished 2-1 with the blues exiting the cup, a result they will ultimately be extremely disappointed with.
14/11/18: Furies 2-4 Loughborough 4ths
BUCS 6th week saw Loughborough 4th team travel to the home of Oxford football, Marston, to face the mighty Furies. Following the previous week’s disappointing loss in the cup, the Furies returned to the league with a renewed sense of team spirit after some strong training sessions. Their opposition, in the form of mid-table Loughborough, have always proved a difficult team to beat and have enjoyed a strong season so far.
The Furies started the game strongly and more than held their own in the opening 20 minutes against some skilful opposition. The new central-midfield partnership, made up of two Furies veterans Juliette Westbrook and Lowri Fernyhough, clicked immediately played some free-flowing football with new number 10 Jasmine Savage. Although Loughborough grew into the game, it was the Furies who took the lead through Rebecca North. Unfortunately, Loughborough could not be kept at bay and despite some gallant defending from centre backs Cerys Baines and Jess Caterson, the Furies found themselves 1-3 down at the break.
The second half saw some fresh legs, notably in the form of Alice Desquiens, last year’s varsity hat-trick hero, who showed her dedication to the Furies by returning from her year abroad in Madrid to make an appearance. With the score at 1-4 Eleanor Frew entered the game and immediately made an impact, finishing well/with an element of luck with her right foot/knee to put the Furies back in the game.
Despite an encouraging display in the final 15, the Furies were ultimately unable to mount a comeback (and perhaps would have conceded more if it weren't for some blinding saves from goalkeeper Emmie Halfpenny), but are ready to fight for the win in their final fixture of the term against Birmingham.
21/11/18: Furies 4-1 Oxford Brookes 2nds
Due to a break in BUCS fixtures, the Furies organised a friendly against local rivals Brookes 2nds. The match provided debuts for some new members of the squad, and offered the Furies an opportunity to try out some new defensive combinations given recent player injuries and unavailability.
As expected, the Furies were dominant from the start and enjoyed the majority of possession. However, due to some robust Brookes defending they were unable to break the deadlock. The breakthrough eventually came directly from a corner, with the floated ball in from Kaitlyn Veloria finding its way into the back of the net. Veloria also provided the assist for the second. Her corner was finished by Eleanor Frew, who showed great tenacity and hold-up play throughout the game.
The second half saw a couple of Furies substitutions, and the resulting imbalance in the team became evident when Brookes scored shortly after the restart to half the Furies’ lead. Brookes continued to grow into the game, and some fine saves from goalkeeper Emmie Halfpenny, as well as two extraordinary goal-line clearances from Martha Comerford, were all that kept Brookes from equalising. The Furies put the game to bed in fine style though, with Jasmine Savage slotting it confidently past the keeper after she and Fernyhough had single/double-handedly played their way through the Brookes’ defence. Gladys Ngetich then found the top corner in spectacular style to round off an encouraging, if not perfect, Furies display.
A special mention should go the mix-and-match Furies back four, with Martha Comerford in particular putting in a woman-of-the-match performance (and not helping her cause to play as a winger).
Lucy Harper and Viola Lough