DEFENDER Amy Chivers was disappointed Oxford United were unable to convert chances into goals as they ended their FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup campaign with a 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa.

United found themselves 2-0 down in the Group 3 clash to a pair of freak goals from Bethan Merrick, before Chivers pulled one back.

But Oxford’s challenge was halted soon after when Amy West added a third.

“If we had scored the first goal I think we would have kicked on, but they went ahead and that was crucial,” said Chivers.

“Conditions probably played their part in the first two goals for them and the second was a bit of a fluke or wonder goal, depending on how you look at it.

“The second goal killed us off a bit.”

United had arguably edged the first half, with Lauren Allison and Helen King both going close.

But they found themselves behind on the stroke of half-time when goalkeeper Hannah Cox allowed a tame free-kick from Merrick to slip out of her grasp and into the net.

Oxford responded well to the setback, with Destiney Toussaint looking particularly dangerous in the early stages of the second half, but found their momentum halted by a second poor goal.

Merrick was again the scorer, whipping in a free-kick from the right, which slipped through the fingers of an off-balance Cox.

Villa’s Mollie Rouse then spurned several opportunities to put the game to bed.

She twice blasted over from close range and also somehow shot wide with the goal at her mercy after rounding the keeper.

And it looked as if the visitors might pay when Chivers pulled a goal back for United, powerfully heading home from a corner and restoring hope to the home side.

But United’s hopes were short-lived as West took advantage of a huge gap in the home defence and slotted home a third goal for the visitors.

Oxford Utd: Cox, Chivers, Barrett, Lane, Nutman, Allison, Pickett (Stanley 65), Toussaint, Franklin-Fraiture, King, Dandridge (Meade HT). Subs not used: Lambourne.

Referee: Simon Maynard.

Attendance: 413.