Exe made the long journey from Exeter up to Oxford but went home empty handed after a tense game at Banbury Road North. Exe starter the stronger and Hawks had to rely on keeper Jess Hughes to make a number of early saves, but Exe finally took the lead after 20 minutes when a rebound was converted after the initial shot was blocked. This served as a wake up call for Hawks who then pressed forwards, winning a number of penalty corners and forcing the away keeper into some fantastic reflex saves. Bex Oakes saw her strike narrowly miss the post, while Sophie Shakespeare's instinctive first time effort was brilliantly parried. Finally Hawks found the leveller with a well worked corner routine finished perfectly by player of the game Lucy Stewart. A minute later the home side struck again, taking advantage of Exe being down to nine men, with Katie Hewitt's diving cross finding Jo Tolson who finished well.
The second half continued to have plenty of chances at both ends but produced no more goals. Abi Flory came close with a great strike from the top of the area, and Catherine Reaney cleverly volleyed goalwards, but both efforts were well saved. The clock finally ran down, giving Hawks all three points, and looking forward to building on their performance at Swansea next weekend.
Thanks to Clive Jones for the photos.