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Oxford United ladies claim cup surprise
9:20am Tuesday 5th February 2013 in Oxford Utd
OXFORD United Ladies pulled off a stunning shock as they knocked Charlton Athletic out of the FA Women’s Cup.
Lauren Allison and Natasha Caswell scored as the U’s came from behind to win 2-1 in the third round at Thamesmead.
It is the furthest the club have got in the competition, and they became the first side from the third tier to knock out a top flight team for nine years.
Their reward is a home tie against Newcastle United later this month, when a quarter-final place will be up for grabs.
They had to do it the hard way, as hosts and favourites Charlton went ahead on nine minutes through Jenny Newman.
The lead lasted until early in the second half, when Allison rose to head in at a corner.
Caswell scored a terrific winner from a free-kick with 16 minutes remaining.
She said: “I tried to bend it into top corner and luckily it went in.
“To play a team from two leagues above us was a massive test.
“I don’t think anyone expected us to win and it’s a massive achievement for us.”
The U’s had already beaten Battersea Ironsides, Newquay and Keynsham Town in the competition.
It continued an excellent campaign for the ladies, who are four points clear in the South West Combination League.
Winning promotion remains the aim, but Caswell, 28, is relishing the chance to take on another higher ranked side in the next round.
She said: “It’s a massive game, they play in the league just above us.
“It’s going to be a hard game, but we will take them on with renewed confidence and we’re all looking forward to it.
“Our priority is to win the league, but this is a nice way of playing without pressure, because there are no expectations on us.
“It’s nice to play as the underdogs.”
The last-16 tie is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 24.
The venue has yet to be confirmed, as their regular home at United’s training ground in Roman Way does not have floodlights, which may be needed in the event of extra time and penalties.
Oxford Utd Ladies: Cox, Meade, Mobbs, Osborne-Ricketts, Chivers, Boxall (Pinker 68), Allison (Coles 83), Beaver, Stanley, Caswell, Pickett (Anderson 77).
Subs not used: Smith, Bennett, Currie, Lambourne.
Fourth round draw in full
Yeovil Town v Portsmouth
Gillingham v Sheffield United Community or Nottingham Forest
Coventry City v Manchester City
Watford v Leeds United
Cardiff City v Reading
Oxford United v Newcastle United
Sporting Club Albion v Sunderland
Aston Villa v Preston North End
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