The Bees fell to a 2-1 defeat against Oxford United in a tightly-contested match under difficult weather conditions in the FA Women’s National League. 


The game started off quickly despite the pounding rain and heavy winds, as the visitors pressed hard and fast from the first whistle. 


Oxford made their initial pressure count when they opened the scoring in the 3rd minute.


The Bees were unable to clear the ball from the box and allowed Beth Lumsden time and space to pick out the bottom corner and put her side ahead.


Oxford pressed for a second and went close when a free-kick from Cheryl Williams was delivered into the area and narrowly missed an attacker’s head. 


The Bees looked to come back into the game shortly after when a cross from Jade Bell narrowly avoided Courtnay Ward-Chambers in the centre.  


Sian Osmond’s side levelled the score in the 15th minute when a corner from Jo Wilson found the head of Meg Wood who nodded down into the path of Danielle Puddefoot to poke in from close-range.


Shortly after the restart, the U’s found the back of the net but it was disallowed by the officials for offside.


The visitors thought they had retaken the lead once more but it was ruled out for a foul on Faye Hazelton – who was considered to have been unfairly challenged for the ball that she had caught. 


Oxford’s pressure was rewarded and they did score their second of the afternoon when a corner found Daisy McLachlan in the box who nodded in.


Jo Wilson went close to putting her side back on level terms again – with only a fingertip save from the Oxford ‘keeper preventing the prolific striker from adding to her goal tally.


In the closing stages, a corner won by Jade Bell nearly ended up in the back of the Oxford net, but Lauren Haynes kept her side ahead with a big save to earn the visitors all three points. 


Bees: Faye Hazelton, Danielle Puddefoot (Frankie Webster 69’), Hannah Porter, Flo Gamby, Courtnay Ward-Chambers, Lauren Heria, Sophie Lee, Megan Wood (Parker Dunn 69’), Jade Bell, Ashleigh Goddard (Millie Constantine 90+3’), Jo Wilson. Subs (Not Used): Amber Tullett, Chiara Lape.


Goals: Danielle Puddefoot (13’).


Oxford: Lauren Haynes, Catherine Beaver, Riva Casley, Daisy McLachlan, Carly Williams, Beth Lumsden, Lily Stevens, Billie Bough-French, Hannah Mackenzie, Rose Kite. Subs: Emily Wallace, Sophie Baker, Sarah King, Libby Gilmore, Holly Sellwood.


Goals: Beth Lumsden (3’), McLachlan (62’).


Referee: Peter Wilson.


Attendance: 43.