Oxford United 2 Durham Women 2

Goals from Jemma Purfield and Beth Hepple were enough for Durham Women to secure a point against bottom of the table Oxford United.

Purfield’s strike came just before the half hour mark calmly slotting the ball home from six yards and Hepple’s free-kick gave the away side a two goal lead.

Oxford produced a comeback in the second half with Kayleigh Hines and Laura Low getting the home sides goals.

Both teams started brightly, seeing plenty of possession with the ball and Beth Jennings almost gave the Wildcats the lead but her shot was straight at the keeper.

Oxford replied instantly with Allison meeting Hinbourne’s cross but Anna Moorhouse was equal to the effort and saved the ball well.

Durham tried several times to thread the ball over the top of Oxford’s defence but each time they tried Emily Scott and Beth Jennings were flagged offside.

As the game settled down it was Durham who had another effort on goal when Hepple broke into the box but her shot was dragged wide across the goal.

It was the Oxford defence that were standing tall and in the way as Hepple swung a free kick into the box but it was cleared quickly by Oxford.

The Wildcats best chance of the match came in the 29th minute when the away side won a free kick just outside the box. It was Hepple who struck the ball which was heading into the top xo and had to be denied by a fantastic save from Demi Lambourne.

Durham took the lead three minutes later when Scott’s drilled cross from the right found Purfield at the far post and despite her first touch being poor she poked the ball into the back of the net.

Low came very close to equalising for Oxford when her shot hit the post before bouncing off Moorhouse and somehow she had done enough to keep the ball out of the net.

Oxford had picked up in the last five minutes of the first-half and Allison turned Durham’s defenders before unleashing another effort on goal.

Half-time and Durham led 1-0.

Jennings found herself through on goal immediately after the restart but was crowded out by the Oxford defence when she looked to shoot.

Oxford had much more of a foothold on the second half creating chances through Jemma Connor-Iommi’s free kick and Allison’s shot that was shot across the face of goal.

Durham had to survive an onslaught of Oxford pressure and responded well when they got their second goal of the match on the half-hour mark.

It was Hepple who had come close to scoring in the first half who took it, swinging it over Lambourne in the Oxford goal to give Durham a 2-0 lead.

Despite being two goals down, Oxford pulled a goal back through Hines as she flicked Connor-Ioomi’s free-kick into the back of the net.

Hepple almost got another goal when she took a free-kick from distance that looked like it had gone in but in fact had dropped onto the top of the net.

Oxford levelled the scores when Allison converted a spot-kick after Ness was judged to have fouled Low in the area.

As the game went into stoppage time both sides searched for the final goal but the whistle went and Durham secured a point.

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