OXFORD United claimed all three points in their opening game of the FA WSL 2 season after a narrow 1-0 win over Sheffield FC.

A cross from Danielle Carlton went in off the head of Sheffield’s Ellie Gilliatt to give Andy Cook’s side a terrific start on the 3G surface at their new home at Court Place Farm.

The visitors controlled the opening exchanges and came close through Melissa Johnson and Emma Johnson, while Emily Allen was unlucky not to capitalise on a great chance for Oxford just before the break.

The hosts nearly lost the lead moments after their goal, but were largely untroubled afterwards to hold on to victory.

Oxford midfielder Kayleigh Hines said: “It’s the first game of the season, so understandably we were a bit nervous and shaky to begin with, it took us a lot longer to get into the game than it should have.

“In the second half, we moved the ball a lot better and more comfortably.

“We weren’t at our best, but most importantly we got all three points.

“We talked a bit at half-time and knew we weren’t playing as well as we should have.

“We have played in pre-season against FA WSL 1 opposition with a lot more composure, so we knew we could improve.

“The new stadium is lovely, it’s quite central to Oxford so it’s nice and accessible to anyone.”

A cagey first half saw Sheffield threaten, when Melissa Johnson shot straight at Demi Lambourne.

On 21 minutes, Oxford almost took the lead, when Emily Donovan put through summer signing Allen who couldn’t get past Danielle Gibbons.

The home side had Lambourne to thank on 33 minutes after the keeper made a point-blank save to deny Emma Johnson a near-certain goal following a scramble in the box.

Sheffield began the second half with purpose and Emma Johnson fired a shot narrowly over on 49 minutes.

But Oxford took the lead on the hour, as Carlton’s free-kick found Sheffield captain Gilliatt, who inadvertently turned the ball into her own net.

The visitors nearly equalised straight away, breaking through with Melissa Johnson and then Emma Johnson, but from then on United saw out the closing stages without any problems.

Oxford Utd: Lambourne, Franklin-Fraiture, Short, Haynes (Noble 38), Hillman, Carlton, Williams, Hines, Oliver, Donovan (Fyfe 89), Allen (Chivers 67).

Unused subs: Skinner, Gane, Baker, Pickett.

Attendance: 220.

l To buy tickets to an FA Women’s Super League match near you visit ticketstores.co.uk/fawsl.