Sunday 10th December 2023
Plymouth Argyle WFC
Oxford United Women
2
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2
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- Days
- Hrs
- Mins
- Secs
Full Time - 
Coach Road (Devon County FA HQ)
Crest Dark
Match Details
Argyle women celebrate

Sync fixtures

Argyle 2
Orchard 90 + 4, Crawford 113

Oxford 2
Liggett 45+1, Barratt pen 111

Penalty shoot-out: 5-3 to Argyle

Rose (Argyle) scored
Barratt (Oxford) scored
Endacott (Argyle) scored
Burridge (Oxford) missed
Berrow (Argyle) scored

Gotch (Oxford) scored
Pomfret (Argyle scored)
Wellesley-Smith (Oxford) scored
Whitmore (Argyle) scored

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Argyle are through to the fourth round of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup following a dramatic to-and-fro encounter with Oxford United at Coach Road, Newton Abbot.

The Greens prevailed, winning 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out, following 120 minutes of action which ebbed and flowed, eventually finishing 2-2 after extra-time.

The first and second half of the regulation 90 minutes each saw goals in stoppage time. Lacy-Jai Liggett put Oxford in front seconds before the half-time whistle blew, but Argyle answered with a strong second-half performance, capped by a Fern Orchard equaliser as the game seemed to be over.

In the second period of extra-time, Oxford won a penalty, converted by Zoe Barratt, but Argyle reacted instantly, with Imy Crawford’s spectacular effort levelling the game for a second time.

In a shoot-out, the Pilgrims were perfect from the spot, scoring all five penalties, and advancing to the next round.   

Argyle had the first chance of the game, with Rosie McDonnell hitting a 20-yard effort wide after just five minutes, but it needed Jasmine Read in the Greens’ goal to save smartly from Barratt from a very dangerous Oxford attack just a few minutes later.

Argyle defender Taya Pomfret almost played her side into trouble, but made a superb recovery tackle, and drove away with the ball, sparking a spell of Argyle pressure which ended with a shot from Rebecca Dandridge from just outside the area, which drifted off-target.

The game drifted into a pattern of Oxford, playing towards a low, bright, setting sun, having the bulk of possession, but failing to break through a fairly comfortable Argyle, who were strong in their shape and giving up very little.

When Oxford did find some space, with about ten minutes of the half remaining, they squandered the best chance of the half to that point. Inside the area, a cutback fell to Oxford’s Kate Wiseman. The free Wiseman’s chance was a gift, but she missed the golden opportunity, perhaps blinded by the bright star in the sky.

United did get in front before the break, though, through Liggett’s goal. A cross from the left was challenged for bravely by Wiseman, and the ball fell kindly inside the six-yard area for Liggett, who steered home.

There was barely time for Argyle to restart when the whistle had sounded, with half-time team-talks for both managers hastily being amended.

Argyle manager Ryan Perks switched forward Ellie Sara to the left wing for the second period, with Charlotte Whitmore making the move in the other direction.

Like the first half, the second period saw precious little in the way of clear opportunities for either side, but Argyle certainly began to increase their possession, with Oxford perhaps looking to protect their slender advantage. It was hardly raining chances, but the Greens were definitely on top. 

To Oxford’s credit, they largely restricted Argyle to shots from distance, with McDonnell and Crawford taking aim from range, but not troubling Paris Sercombe in the visitors’ goal.

Argyle captain Panagiota Papaioannou had to be withdrawn midway through the half with a leg injury, with Lucy Hack seamlessly slotting into the backline. With 12 minutes remaining, Perks sent on Jade Berrow for Katie Dickson, and switching to a 3-5-2 system in order to commit more forward and find the elusive equaliser.

It was at the other end, though, where the game’s second goal nearly arrived. Oxford left-back Shelly Provan’s strike from at least 20 yards smashed the bar and ricocheted down, with the assistant referee indicating that the ball had not crossed the line. It was very, very close.

With the game now much more open, it took a brave block from Pomfret and a vital tackle from McDonnell to prevent United extending their lead.

Crawford got another long-range effort on target, which was saved, and it looked like Oxford had seen the game out, but Perks’ final roll of the dice paid huge dividends. With four minutes remaining of the 90, he brought on Orchard for Sara, and Orchard was soon in the thick of the action.

Whitmore’s surge down the left flank left her marker in her wake, and a cut back picked out Orchard’s run perfectly. A sweet first-time finish later – Orchard’s first Argyle goal - and the game was sent to extra-time, as Orchard celebrated among a forest of green shirts. 

Momentum was with the Pilgrims at the start of the additional 30 minutes; they began on the front foot, with Mia Endacott firing not far over from the edge of the area. That said, it took an excellent stop from Read, with Barratt through on goal, to maintain parity.

Oxford sensed their opportunity, and another run in behind by Barratt, breaking the offside trap, saw her cut the ball back, looking for Sarah King. An almighty scramble ensued, with relief for the home side when Read emerged with the ball in her grasp.

There were more heroics to come from Read who, in the second period of extra-time, saved from point-blank range from King. The remarkable save was compounded as Read smothered the loose ball to keep United poachers at bay.

With less than ten minutes remaining, Oxford were awarded a penalty, as the unfortunate Pomfret, who had an excellent game, raised an arm to stop a shot, and stopped the ball’s trajectory. Barratt struck firmly home from the spot, and that appeared to be that.

Not so.

This amazing game had another twist in it yet. Dandridge kept a remarkably cool head as she beat two defenders on the edge of the area, teeing up Crawford to smash in from 20 yards. Cue delirium - and penalties.

In the shoot-out, former Argyle player Leah Burridge missed Oxford’s second penalty, which gave the Greens the advantage. All five of Argyle’s takers – Rose, Endacott, Berrow, Pomfret and Whitmore – dispatched their efforts, meaning Argyle proudly take their place in the fourth round of the cup.

The draw, which sees sides from the WSL come into the reckoning, will take place at 9.30am on Tuesday, 12 December. 

Argyle: 1 Jasmine Read, 2 Katie Dickson (11 Jade Berrow, 78), 3 Rosie McDonnell, 4 Jemma Rose, 5 Panagiota Papaioannou (capt) (6 Lucy Hack, 67), 7 Charlotte Whitmore, 8 Imy Crawford, 9 Ellie Sara (20 Fern Orchard, 86), 10 Rebecca Dandridge (15 Georgie Knott, 118), 18 Taya Pomfret, 29 Mia Endacott. Substitutes: 42 Lily Felgate (gk), 13 Grace Smith, 14 Tamsin Medd-Gill, 23 Katelyn Bell.

Booked: Rose 90, Berrow 98, Pomfret 110.

Oxford: 1 Paris Sercombe, 3 Shelly Provan, 4 Kate Wiseman, 5 Cecily Wellesley-Smith, 9 Zoe Barratt, 13 Lacy-Jai Liggett (10 Izzy Cook, 76), 16 Jaime Gotch, 17 Sarah King, 18 Taome Oliver (38 Hayley Hoare 119), 19 Leah Burridge (capt), 42 Jenna Legg (36 Vitalia Budaieva, 82). Substitutes: 8 Jess Gray, 15 Anais Trinci, 21 Amy Woodhead, 27 Caitlin Crierie.

New Year's Eve at Home park