A STRONG second-half display went unrewarded for Oxford United Women, who lost 2-1 at home to Watford in Division 2.

The visitors exploited defensive mistakes to go in at the break 2-0 ahead at Northcourt Road, Abingdon.

Laura Low’s effort eight minutes into the second half inspired the U’s to come back into the game, but they were unable to force an equaliser as Watford held on for the victory.

The home side were on the back foot early on and fell behind in the 18th minute.

Stacey Donnelly capitalised on a breakdown in communication between Jemma Connor-Iommi and Amy Chivers to lob goalkeeper Demi Lambourne.

Falling behind stirred the U’s, but despite some brighter moments they were stung again on the stroke of half-time.

Watford broke quickly and although Lambourne saved the first effort, Jo Wilson slammed in the rebound.

United looked brighter when the game resumed and on 53 minutes they halved the deficit.

Low sliced through the defence and beat the Watford goalkeeper.

Louise Fellows, Lauren Allison and Katie Stanley all came close to an equaliser in the final half-hour, as the visitors clung on to take maximum points.

United: Lambourne, Connor-Iommi, Osborne-Ricketts, Chivers, Alexander, Hines (Simmonds), King, Nutman, Pickett (Fellows), Stanley, Low (Allison).

Attendance: 302.

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