Cambridge United Women 1-1 MK Dons Ladies
FA Women’s Premier League South East Division 1
Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Unwin Sports Ground, Ely
Yet again the Dons started a game in wet conditions and the extremely heavy rain prior to kick off lead to a greasy surface which meant controlling the ball proved to be difficult throughout the game for both sides.
It was Cambridge who started best with probing wing play from Nuala Wayne testing the Dons defence to the limit. The pressure finally told after eleven minutes when Wayne found Hannah Goodchild who’s superb pass released Emma Jenkins who coolly slotted home to open the scoring.
MK responded well and enjoyed periods of possession as both teams battled against the conditions to make it an entertaining encounter for fans. Laura Baker was exceptional as the United back four managed to restrict the visitors to long range shots, however, the Dons would have felt unlucky not to have levelled after Charley Wright, Vicky Holland, Andie Dickens and Hannah Barrett all saw chances go agonisingly the wrong side of the woodwork. On thirty three minutes a delicious free kick from the ever impressive Barrett curled straight into the back of the net to level affairs.
The U’s had one more gilt edged chance to retake the lead before the break when Claire Hollingsworth’s back pass held up on the pitch allowing Becky Taylor to round keeper Caroline Collie. Taylor drove the ball towards the open net only to see a miraculous recovery from Hollingsworth who managed to intercept the goal bound ball to clear and maintain order.
Dons started the second half without the influential Barrett, however, they began to control the midfield and as the half wore on Cambridge resorted to long through balls trying to release their speedy forwards but the Dons defenders were marshalled flawlessly by keeper Collie who was always in control.
Both sides worked hard to find a winner but clear cut opportunities were limited, until a free kick from Lucy Du Plooy found Sophie Thompson, her first shot was blocked, Thompson was first to the rebound but her second attempt cleared the crossbar.
MK almost won the match with five minutes remaining when, Lil Stanton’s thirty five yard chip was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by the back peddling Liz Pamplin. The resultant corner lead to a clumsy clearance that fell to Leah Cudone, her rasping thirty yard shot was only a few inches over.
In summary this was a hard fought, close encounter that could easily have gone either way. The fact that this was a thoroughly entertaining match in difficult conditions is testament to the quality of all the players on show.
1-0 Emma Jenkins, 11 mins
1-1 Hannah Barrett, 33 mins
Cambridge United Women:
1.Liz Pamplin 2.Hannah Goodchild 3.Lucy DuPlooy 4.Laura Baker 5.Nicola Geoghan 6.Kayleigh-Anne Burt 7.Emma Jenkins (16.Faith Hewitt, 57 mins) 8.Laura Bright 9.Becky Taylor (15.Sophie Thompson, 69 mins) 10.Laura Mills 11.Nuala Wayne (12.Rebecca Fay, 79 mins)
Unused subs: 14.Robyn Philips, 17.Emily Reed
MK Dons Ladies:
1.Caroline Collie 2.Louise Naylor 3.Sam Gillings 4.Vicky Holland (18.Lil Stanton, 61 mins) 5.Claire Hollingsworth 6.Leanna Doyle 7.Andie Dickens 8.Charley Wright 9.Hannah Barrett (c) (14.Laura Goodier, 46 mins) 10.Leah Cudone 11.Heather McDonnell
Unused Subs: 12.Rosie Anderson 16.Zoe Lander –.Chelsea Coles
Referee – Richard Clark
Assistants – Anthony Ashman, Frank Gunsalves
© Andy Gunn