MK Dons Ladies 2-1 Norwich City Ladies
FA Women’s Premier League South East Division 1
Sunday 23rd August 2015
Willen Road, Newport Pagnell
Attendance: estimated 55
A brief report of my first live game watching women’s football.
Following a slow start from the players in steady rain, the referee had no other option than to suspend play in the 12th minute when torrential rain and lightning threatened player’s safety. The famous Willen Road rabbits made an impromptu appearance on the pitch during the rain break, much to the delight of the crowd. After a pitch inspection 24 minutes later, the referee deemed the surface and conditions good enough to resume play.
The game was well contested in difficult conditions with Norwich City having the best of the play, hitting the post twice before Chelsea Garrett was shown a straight red card in the 31st minute. As so often happens, the 10 ladies of Norwich somehow managed to strengthen their hold on the game and they got the breakthrough on 43 minutes when a cross shot from Natasha Snelling was mishandled by the keeper and the ball crossed the line for the opening goal.
MK Dons briefly rallied and were only denied an equaliser by a superb save from the Canaries keeper, Fiona Coombes.
Unsurprisingly as the ten Canaries tired during the second period and the Dons became increasingly dominant with good build up play whilst lacking any clinical finishing.
Against the run of play, the game was almost put out of sight by City in the 64th and 65th minutes when successive long range shots from the Canary’s Erin Wilson and Natasha Snelling both beat Emma Kirby in the Don’s goal only to see the ball crash against the crossbar.
The Dons only needed 5 minutes to capitalise on City’s misfortune when Charley Clarke turned the ball into the back of the net following a corner, levelling the scores in the 70th minute. It took the Dons only another two minutes to double their tally when Andie Dickens deftly lobbed the ball from the edge of the box over a crowd of players and the unsighted Fiona Coombes to score the winner.
Milton Keynes comfortably played out time to remain unbeaten and sitting proudly at the top of the table.
43 mins 0-1 Natasha Snelling
70 mins 1-1 Charley Clarke
72 mins 2-1 Andie Dickens
MK Dons Ladies:
Kirby, Barrett, Clarke, Cudone, Doyle, Gillings, Hollingsworth, McDonnell, Naylor, Watson, Wright. Subs: Dickens, Goodier, Murphy
Norwich City Ladies:
Coombes, Fewkes-Woodrow, Garret, Larkin, Parsons, Radley, Shorten, Smith, Snelling (Swift, 72 mins), Wilson (Osborne, 76 mins), Wiseman (Knights, 81 mins). Unused sub: Nicholson.
© Andy Gunn