OXFORD United went top of FA Women’s Super League 2 with a superb 3-1 victory at Watford.

Emily Allen fired home a clinical strike nine minutes from time to seal United’s second victory in two matches.

Hannah Short opened the scoring with a scrappy finish on seven minutes, before Kayleigh Hines curled home a 33rd-minute free-kick from 20 yards.

Sarah Jones kept Watford in the game with a first-half header before Allen’s effort.

U’s manager Andy Cook said: “To win at Watford who were talking before the season of finishing in the top three, we’re ecstatic.

“We managed the game well. Our players are that good, they managed to slow the game down when they needed to and played when they needed to.

“At half-time, we knew Watford were going to come at us for the first ten minutes. That was the key message and we had to ride the wave a bit but did enough. Overall, it was a great win.”

The visitors opened the scoring in the seventh minute, when Short was quickest to react after Watford failed to clear their lines from a right wing free-kick.

Oxford doubled the lead on the half-hour after Rinsola Babajide was penalised for a challenge on Hines just outside the penalty box.

Hines picked herself up to finish with aplomb over the Watford wall.

But the 2-0 lead didn’t last long as Jones headed in a Meghan McHeag corner at the far post after 36 minutes.

Oxford edged the second-half in terms of possession as defences dominated until Allen’s late strike sealed the points.

The visitors continued to attack and substitute Chloe Chivers went close to a fourth goal in injury time.

Oxford Utd: Lambourne, Hillman, Short, Williams, Franklin-Fraiture, Noble, Carlton, Hines, Allen (Pickett 86), Donovan (Chivers 7), Oliver (Fyfe 77). Subs not used: C Skinner, Yorston.

Attendance: 170.

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