LIAM Gilbert hailed Oxford United’s character as they climbed to third in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier.

After a long break between games, a 2-1 win over Portsmouth completed a perfect double header following the midweek success against Milton Keynes Dons.

Daisy McLachlan hit the decisive goal 15 minutes from time, after Kayleigh Hines’s opener had been cancelled out in the first half.

Gilbert, United’s manager, said: “(It was) a very, gritty, gutsy performance that epitomises the character of the group.

“There were times where we were under the cosh, but every player dug in.

“To come out of this week with six points after not playing a league game for nearly three months just shows you what a fantastic group we’ve got and how hard they’ve worked during that period.”

A healthy crowd of almost 300 at Court Place Farm saw the home side start brightly.

Georgia Timms was denied by a fine save on 20 minutes, but United’s next effort midway through the half opened the scoring.

Hines tried her luck from range with a terrific effort which went in via the upright.

The lead lasted just ten minutes, though, as Hayley Bridge powerfully netted for the visitors.

The scoreline stayed that way until the 75th minute, where United edged in front again.

New signing Molly Peters drove forward and set up McLachlan to sweep home the low cross.

Portsmouth never seriously threatened an equaliser, as United moved into the top three.

Oxford Utd: Sercombe, Roberts, Sims, Haynes, McLachlan, Hines, Timms, Williams (Peters), Searle (Baker), Allen, Clifford.

Attendance: 285.