CAPTAIN Sahara Osborne-Ricketts saw red yesterday as Oxford United crashed out of the FA Women’s Cup with a 5-1 defeat at Sunderland, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
A goal for debutant midfielder Louise Fellows was one bright spot for United, but a clinical display from the hosts ensured a one-sided scoreline in the third-round tie with Rachel Furness (2), Abbey Joice, Rebekah Bass and Beth Mead netting.
The Black Cats are fancied for the FA Women’s Super League 2 title this season and showed their credentials from the off, taking an early lead when Oxford goalkeeper Demi Lambourne spilled a corner and Furness poked in.
Bass doubled the lead soon after, latching onto an incisive through ball before firing emphatically home.
United striker Lauren Allison missed a golden opportunity to pull one back immediately, shooting wide from a narrow angle after rounding the keeper.
But the U’s did pull a goal back when Fellows lost her marker to volley in Osborne-Ricketts’ dangerous curling free-kick.
However, Sunderland soon restored their two-goal cushion, Furness again capitalising on a corner to head in her second.
Joice extended the lead in spectacular fashion just two minutes after the break, spotting Lambourne off her line and looping the ball into the net from 35 yards.
For all their positive play United seemed unable to find a way through and any hopes of reducing the deficit were put on hold when Osborne-Ricketts got her marching orders for a second yellow.
Beth Mead immediately took advantage of the extra space, firing in from the edge of the area to complete Oxford’s misery.
Oxford Utd Ladies: Lambourne, Meade, Osborne-Ricketts, Chivers, Stanley, Allison, Pickett (Low 68), King (Pinker 84), Nutman, Connor-Iommi (Lane 84), Fellows. Subs not used: Cox, Mobbs.
Referee: R Welch.