With Oxford United promoted to the Premier League last season, the two sides knew little about each other. The Shots, kicking into the wind in the first half, started slowly. Oxford tried to use the wind to their advantage, caused the Shots defence a few headaches in the first 15 minutes, but the danger was always cleared. The Shots started to get a hold on the game and started to stretch the Oxford defence on a number off occasions, with Wallman and Hann going close. North was picking the pieces up in the midfield, and had a couple of shots from outside the box, which the keeper did well to deal with.
The pressure finally tolled and on 23 minutes the Shots won a corner. Smith swung the ball into the area, the keeper parried the ball onto the advancing North and the ball ended up in the back of the net.1-0 to the Shots.
The Shots pressed for the second, but were undone by Oxford who launched ball over the top of the Shots defence. Coles tried to close the Oxford player down, but she managed to slip the ball through to the Oxford forward who side-footed home to make it 1-1.
Again the game was going from end to end; the Shots went further ahead when again the Shots won another corner on 29 minutes. Again, Smith swung the ball deep for Coles to out-jump the Oxford defence to head into the roof of the net. 2-1 Shots.
Yet again from the restart, the Shots were caught cold. A long ball out to the right found the Oxford midfielder in space and burst through to fire high in the net to level the scores at 2-2. The Shots dug deep and pressed Oxford back; Wallman could have extended the lead but was unable to get a better connection on Hann's deep cross. On 44 minutes Wallman made up for her early miss. Calder's drop-kick found Wallman who controlled and sent a pass that split the Oxford defence. Hann gathered on the right, brushed off the Oxford player and crossed deep for Wallman to poke in to make it 3-2 at half-time.
With a few hash words from the management team, the Shots raised their game in the second half, playing at a higher tempo and started to cause the Oxford team all sorts of problems around the pitch. On 60 minutes the Shots won a throw, Giberson threw in to Wallman, who controlled, turned past Giberson and found Caz Shepherd. She pushed passed the defender and struck a left foot shot from outside the box which crashed in off the bar, to give her first Aldershot goal. 4-2.
Oxford did try and test the Shots, but the danger was snuffed out and Calder produced a double-save to deny Oxford getting back into the game. On 71 minutes, the Shots made the game safe. Another throw found Hann, who headed onto Wallman, who in turn passed to McDonald in the corner, who then played the ball down the line to Giberson, who crossed into the box, Hann lost her defender and being side onto the goal, struck the ball on the volley into the roof off the net. 5-2.
The Shots where dominating all over the pitch and the Shots passing game was opening up the Oxford defence time and time again. McDonald came close, with a one-on-one with the keeper. She placed her shot well, only to see it rebound off the post into the keeper's hands. Meredith came on for the injured Smith in the final 10 minutes and the defence reshuffled.
As the game come to a close, North won the ball in the midfield on 83 minutes. The Oxford player managed to get a challenge in and the ball broke nicely for Hann to pick up, Hann sent a reverse pass through the Oxford defence, North had gambled and carried on her run and latched onto the ball and coolly fired past the keeper to make it 6-2.
As the game come to a close Simone Hart, came on for Nikki McDonald to shore up the midfield.
Player of the Match goes to Tara Coles
"A much-needed 3 points, a game of two halves. We could not get our flowing football going in the first half but dug deep to get in front of Oxford. We didn't defend well in the first half and we sorted the problem out at half time. We took the game to Oxford and upped the tempo, which Oxford found hard to cope with. We created more chances this week and took our goals well. The girls have done fantastic over the last month or so, as we have changed the way we want them to play, and hopefully there are reaping the benefits now."
"Playing a newly promoted side we knew that Oxford United would set out to cause an upset and to prove they had earned the right to play at this level. After a poor start from us this unfortunately did look to be the case, we got ourselves into trouble early on but just before half time we managed to take the lead, going in 3-2 up. We ironed out a few problems in the break and came out for the second half looking to set things straight. The second half performance was much better from us, we didn't give Oxford a look in, scoring a further 3 goals to make the final score 6-2. It's great to see that the goals are coming from all over the park this season which shows we are working hard for each other. We are away to Riverside in the cup this week so we will be focussed fully on that."
Hayley Calder, Di Smith (Tasha Meredith 80"), Kath Giberson, Tara Coles, Hanna Grover, Nikki McDonald (Simone Hart 85") Emma North ©, Laura Wallman, Laura Hann, Caz Shepherd, Danni Shepherd.
Sub not used: Laura Funnell
UPCOMING FIXTURES (all 2pm kick off)
Riverside Strikers (A) - Hampshire Women's Cup - 18/11
Bracknell Town (A) - League - 25/11
More information available at www.aldershotladies.co.uk
"Members of the Aldershot Town Ladies team will be distributing the newly-designed match programmes at this Saturday's Blue Square Premier league tie between the Shots and Rushden & Diamonds at the Rec. Programmes for this match only are free, but we would ask supporters to make a donation towards the ladies team."