OXFORD United suffered a cruel exit from the Women’s FA Cup after a late goal in extra time condemned them to a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Plymouth Argyle.

The U’s had shown great spirit to bounce back from falling 2-0 behind after just 19 minutes at Oxford City’s Court Place Farm.

Georgia Timms pulled a goal back 18 minutes from time and Gemma Sims levelled six minutes later.

Sims then put United back in front in extra time with another header.

But Plymouth equalised on 109 minutes and then scored in the final minute to send United crashing out.

Helen Bleazard broke the deadlock on 14 minutes with a looping free-kick which dipped past Paris Sercombe.

The lead was doubled five minutes later when Natasha Knapman headed home.

Gradually United began to get into the game, but did not threaten to pull a goal back in the opening period.

Emily Allen came close to scoring after the break, her header being cleared off the line in a frantic goalmouth scramble.

The U’s gave themselves hope when the ball fell to Timms with 19 minutes to go and she found the net.

When Sims netted shortly afterwards, United were the favourites to go on and win the match.

They could not find a breakthrough in normal time, but did take the lead when Sims headed home at the far post nine minutes into the first period of extra time.

But Bleazard’s long-range strike four minutes after the restart levelled the scores.

And with penalties looming, Kayley Lane prodded home from close range to snatch a dramatic victory.

United head coach Liam Gilbert praised his side’s character, but admitted their first half display was not good enough.

“In the first 45 minutes we didn’t turn up, and we just allowed Plymouth to play,” he said.

“But the reaction and response of the players was different class.

“We proved we can go toe to toe with one of the best teams in the league, and we didn’t stop fighting.

“There was heart, workrate and commitment, and that showed all the way through the team.”

Oxford Utd: Sercombe, Sims, Haynes, McLachlan, Hines, Timms (Johns 117), Williams (Moore 86), Baker, Searle (Bent 82), Allen, Clifford. Subs not used: Watson, Roberts, Kirby. Attendance: 52.