WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Lauren's late leveller gets United off mark

Kayleigh Hines is mobbed after scoring Oxford United Ladies’ first goal in their 2-2 draw against Reading at Abingdon United yesterday

Kayleigh Hines is mobbed after scoring Oxford United Ladies’ first goal in their 2-2 draw against Reading at Abingdon United yesterday

First published in Sport

Lauren Allison opened her account for the season with a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser as Oxford United claimed their first point of the season in Women's Super League 2.

Kayleigh Hines had earlier cancelled out Fran Kirby’s opener with a fine strike against her old club, but Lauren Bruton put the visitors back in front late on.

And just when all had seemed lost for United, Allison was on hand to head in a dramatic leveller.

The U’s had to sustain since heavy pressure from the visitors in the opening exchanges, but could have opened the scoring.

Hines danced away from two challenges before shooting from distance, with Reading goalkeeper Nicky Davies making a save at full stretch.

But it was the visitors who made the breakthrough after 27 minutes.

Kirby, who last week became the first Women’s Super League 2 player to be called up for the England squad, beat two defenders before firing into the top corner past Hannah Cox in the Oxford goal.

Cheryl Williams almost doubled their advantage when she got the wrong side of the United defence, but Cox parried her shot away.

Oxford were much improved after the break and pulled themselves level when Hines fired home a 20-yard shot past Davies.

The visitors remained dangerous despite an improved showing from Oxford and Cox was required to deny Kirby twice more.

But she was beaten with just 11 minutes remaining by a magnificent curling effort from Bruton, which appeared to have handed victory to Reading.

But the U’s fought back strongly and two minutes into injury time won a point when Allison rose to head in substitute Katie Stanley’s fine floated cross.

Oxford Utd: Cox, Hines, Osborne-Ricketts (Mobbs 70), Chivers, Allison, Pickett (Stanley 62), King, Nutman, Connor-Iommi, Lane, Low (Hughes 86). Sub not used: Lambourne.

Attendance: 280.

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