A FLYING start saw Oxford United Ladies claim another scalp in the FA Women’s Cup with a 2-1 win against Newcastle United.
Katie Stanley and Natasha Caswell struck inside the opening quarter of an hour to give the underdogs, who had knocked out Charlton Athletic in the previous round, a two-goal lead.
The shell-shocked visitors re-grouped at the break and pulled a goal back early in the second half. United’s defence came under heavy pressure, but they weathered the storm to book their place in the last 16, where they are at home to Everton.
The hosts were playing at the Kassam Stadium for the first time, but showed no signs of being overawed.
They seized control early on and opened the scoring with a high-quality move on eight minutes.
Caswell launched a precise through ball which split the Newcastle defence, allowing Stanley to steer a first-time lob over Newcastle goalkeeper Laura Wareham.
It was 2-0 six minutes later, when Caswell took advantage of some space 20 yards out to fire in a low shot which squirmed under Wareham.
Newcastle did not come into the game until Jess Havelock bundled home a finish six minutes after the restart to get them back into the game.
United’s defence were thoroughly tested in a 20-minute spell when Newcastle pushed for an equaliser.
Skipper Sahara Osborne-Ricketts led by example, thwarting several attacks, while Amy Chivers made one outstanding block to deny Megan Pyper a certain goal.
The hosts finished the game strongly as Dan Anderson, Lauren Allison and Holly Pickett all had chances to make it 3-1 late on.
Newcastle carved out one final clear chance for Beth Gardner in stoppage time, but goalkeeper Hannah Cox made a smart parry to seal the victory.
Oxford Utd: Cox, Chivers, Mobbs (Bennett 90), Osborne-Ricketts, Meade, Caswell, Beaver, Stanley, Pinker (Anderson 71), Pickett, Allison. Subs not used: Smith, Coles, Currie.
Newcastle Utd: Wareham, Lock, Wilson, Armstrong, Havelock, Purdham (Campion 85), Teasdale (Pyper 56), Potts, Frazer, Gardner, Crooks (Foster 72). Subs not used: Sewell.