Oxford United Ladies ready for big day at the Kassam

Oxford Mail: Striker Lauren Allison is happy for United to be underdogs Striker Lauren Allison is happy for United to be underdogs

THERE is a double header at the Kassam Stadium this weekend, with Oxford United Ladies playing Newcastle United in the FA Women’s Cup.

Sunday’s fourth round tie is the first time the ladies have played at the stadium.

There is a huge reward on offer for the winners, with the eight Women’s Super League teams entering the competition in the fifth round.

U’s skipper Sahara Osborne-Ricketts is thrilled the team have a chance to play on a bigger stage.

She said: “Playing at the Kassam is a massive thing for us, most of our games we never get to play somewhere like that.

“If we were to get through you could be up against the likes of Arsenal or Birmingham.

“Arsenal would be the dream draw for me, just to play on the same pitch as some of their stars would be amazing.”

The playing surface at the Kassam has attracted plenty of criticism this season, but it is not a factor for striker Lauren Allison, who scored in the excellent win at Charlton Athletic in the previous round.

She said: “I couldn’t care less about what the pitch is like, we’re just hoping to get a decent attendance.

“I think we’re all pretty excited, especially after the last round.

“We’re the underdogs again and there are no expectations on our behalf, so the pressure is on them.”

The ladies have enjoyed a superb season so far and are top of their division.

Natasha Caswell paid tribute to the coaching staff for their role in the success.

“(Manager) Richard Blackmore has done a magnificent job in terms of preparing us for the game and giving us the tools to succeed,” she said.

“We do our homework, train three times a week and also prepare really well on match days.”

Meet the team

Goalkeepers

Hannah Cox, 22, from Oxford

George Currie, 21, Bicester

Defenders

Hayley Bennett, 17, North Leigh

Amy Chivers, 20, Oxford

Isi Meade, 18, Abingdon

Stephanie Mobbs, 24, Oxford

Sahara Osborne-Ricketts, 21, Oxford

Abi Smith, 22, Oxford

Midfielders

Catherine Beaver, 27, Brize Norton

Natasha Caswell, 28, Bicester

Dan Anderson, 20, Oxford

Holly Pickett, 21, Oxford

Lindsay Pinker, 18, Oxford

Forwards

Lauren Allison, 18, Bicester

Stacey Coles, 22, Oxford

Katie Stanley, 23, Thame

Comments (1)

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3:10pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Manor Born says...

Good luck to the ladies team on Sunday. You have already shown what can be achieved when you show a bit of passion & committment whilst wearing the shirt with pride.

You could certainly show the men's first team a thing or two.

Anyone who is free, should go to this game and support the girls as they bid for the fifth round. They'll not be disappointed. They will get to see a team who are organised, know how to pass the ball, defend well and where the back of the net is. Everything that Chris Wilder's team is not.
Good luck to the ladies team on Sunday. You have already shown what can be achieved when you show a bit of passion & committment whilst wearing the shirt with pride. You could certainly show the men's first team a thing or two. Anyone who is free, should go to this game and support the girls as they bid for the fifth round. They'll not be disappointed. They will get to see a team who are organised, know how to pass the ball, defend well and where the back of the net is. Everything that Chris Wilder's team is not. Manor Born

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