THE Argyle Ladies suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Oxford United.Manager Kevin Rose had several changes forced upon him for the Ladies long trip to the Home Counties.
The late withdrawal of keeper Nicky Lipscombe found teenager Sarah Stacey volunteering to fill the position. There was another debutant appearance for defender Jodie Chubb, and a welcome back for Chloe Bassett following her successful stint at Cardiff University.
Argyle started well, taking the game to the home side and having the better of the early exchanges. Not surprisingly, they took the lead on 22 mins. Emily Mousley notched her fifth goal in three games when she worked a good position inside the box and shot across the keeper into the far corner.
That lead lasted just seven minutes as the home side began to make their presence felt.
Rachel Javan failed to clear the ball near the left corner and Oxford's winger robbed her and hit a high 25 yard effort that caught 'keeper Stacey slightly out of position. The ball sailed over her head and into the net.
The game was played at a high tempo with both sides playing attractive attacking football.
Four inutes before the break, the home side's pressure paid off. This time Anna Gower was caught in possession at right back, and the winger put in an accurate cross for the striker to turn and fire the ball home into the corner beating Sarah Stacey to her left.
Within three minutes of the restart after the break, the home side extended their lead when Argyle's young 'keeper was beaten at her near post from 15 yards.
Oxford were in full flow now and Stacey made a fine save to her right pushing the ball away for a corner.
Argyle had their moments, too, though and following a good run down the left wing, Bassett put over a great cross that Tash Knapman somehow contrived to mishit from three yards.
A few minutes later and Sarah Stacey was again called into action to tip a rising shot over the bar.
As the match entered the last 10 minutes, it flowed from end to end with both sides creating half chances. There were further chances for Knapman and Mousley to reduce the arrears, but it was not to be.
After the game manager Kev Rose said: "Today was disappointing, but if we had taken our second half chances we may well have won a game we had no right to win."