OXFORD United Women made it a winning return as they edged out Cardiff City Ladies to reach the third round of the Vitality Women's FA Cup.

The U's had not played since December 13 due to lockdown, but Georgia Brown's second-minute goal secured a 1-0 win in Wales.

Liam Gilbert's side survived a few scares as their hosts tried in vain to force an equaliser.

But it is United whose season continues with a home tie against Billericay Town on Sunday, after the Essex side beat Ipswich Town 2-1.

Different lockdown restrictions in Wales meant United had less time to prepare than their hosts, but they were the ones to strike early.

Brown took possession from a throw-in and she brought the ball under control before finishing expertly.

There was action at the other end soon after as Rose Kite was forced into action for the first time, blocking Jas Turner's route to goal after she beat the offside trap.

Emily Allen and Daisy McLachlan worried Cardiff with their pace and the latter threatened after 12 minutes, overpowering her opponent and delivering a dangerous cross that lacked a finishing touch.

Kayleigh Hines sent a free-kick over the crossbar midway through the half, but seconds later the hosts came close again.

Kylie Nolan found space on the right and crossed for Nadia Lawrence, whose effort was turned behind by Kite.

It signalled a change in momentum and five minutes before half-time Nolan was creator-in-chief again, showing great feet to fire in a cross that Kite had to push away to safety.

Brown missed the chance to grab her second when she failed to make anything of Hannah Mackenzie's cross, but the U's remained ahead at the break.

Neither side could build up momentum during a scrappy start to the second half and Carly Johns replaced Cheryl Williams on the hour mark.

United were indebted to Kite in the 67th minute, the goalkeeper rushing off her line to thwart Gwen Davies when she was played in by Lawrence.

Nolan sent an ambitious effort wide as the game entered its closing stages, before Gilbert brought on Emily Wallace and Lily Stevens for McLachlan and Brown.

It was all to play for in the final few minutes, as Johns and Nolan missed the target in quick succession.

The latter chance proved to be Cardiff's final effort of note and United went through.

United: Kite, Sims, Haynes, Beaver, McLachlan (Wallace 80), Hines, Williams, (Johns 60) Allen, Brown (Stevens 81), Hayes, Mackenzie. Unused subs: Oliver, Baker, Moore, Jeal, Bent, Ashley.