Leah Cudone scored with an exquisite finish in the second half to help MK Dons Ladies run out 3-0 winners against Watford on Sunday.
The Dons faced the Golden Girls at Kings Langley in the FAWPL Southern Premier Division and took all three points from the encounter.
Leah Littlechild opened the scoring for the Dons in the 12th minute by scoring directly from a corner, before Eleanor Gough made it 2-0 a mere 17 minutes later.
From there, the Dons had to defend well to deny Watford a way back into the game, leading to Emma Kirby making several important saves to keep the score 2-0.
However, instead of conceding, the Dons ended up extending their lead to 3-0 in the 83rd minute when Cudone beautifully fired the ball just under the crossbar to make her shot unstoppable.
The Dons’ latest victory moves them up to eighth in the table ahead of travelling to face Cardiff City next Sunday.
James Honeyman’s side started the game against Watford in fast fashion as they quickly carved out an opportunity for themselves from a corner.
In the second minute of the match, Littlechild whipped in a corner which Alice Hughes attempted to head home only to be denied by the crossbar.
Kim Farrow then followed up Hughes’ effort by going close herself as she burst through on goal and tried to slot the ball into the bottom right, but she was denied by a fantastic save.
While the Dons went close twice in quick succession, Littlechild ensured the Dons took the lead by catching the Watford keeper off guard by scoring directly from a corner.
Cudone tried to extend the Dons’ lead five minutes later by firing from long range but her effort rattled the crossbar instead of striking the back of the net.
While the crossbar denied Cudone, Gough wouldn’t be denied scoring her first senior goal or making it 2-0 to the Dons moments later.
Gough was played through on goal by Littlechild and calmly took the ball around a charging Watford keeper before blasting it into an empty net.
Alysha Stojko-Down attempted to pull a goal back for Watford before the half-time whistle with an effort from 20-yards-out, but Kirby made a vital save to deny her.
Watford Ladies then emerged after the half-time break determined to get themselves back in the game by going close on several occasions.
Katie O’Leary, Kat Huggins, Stojko-Down and Danielle Scanlon all had efforts which forced Kirby to react quickly to make several important saves.
Cudone nearly created an opportunity for the Dons on the counter which Watford almost took advantage of as they stole back the ball, yet Andrea Caird couldn’t make the move count by converting her chance to score from a header.
The Dons then wrapped up the points by launching a counter of their own through Cudone who skillfully darted forward before firing the ball just under the crossbar and just out of reach of Watford keeper Weronika Baranowska to make it 3-0.
Speaking after the game James Honeyman revealed how pleased he was with the Dons’ overall performance on Sunday.
“We asked for a reaction from last week where we let ourselves down, and we got exactly that,” said Honeyman.
“We scored three brilliant goals and, Ellie making her debut at seventeen to round the keeper and score is fantastic, and Cudone to score that type of goal from twenty five yards against her former club was the icing on the cake.
“We out thought them, outworked them and ultimately out performed them in every area, every player had to dominate their match up and they did.
“I’m very proud of the ladies, but I’m also happy that we have shown our full potential.
“People will underestimate us at their peril, and today proves that.”
Starting XI: Kirby, Naylor (Newman 75), Doyle (c), Barrett, Bright, Littlechild (Wright 85) Gough (Stanley 88), Clarke, Hughes, Farrow, Cudone
Goals: Littlechild (12), Gough (29), Cudone (83)