MK Dons Ladies’ FA Women’s Cup run came to an abrupt end on Sunday, when they were beaten 6-1 by Southern Premier side Gillingham.
Without a defeat in their last four matches, John Dyer’s side arrived in Kent full of confidence and hopeful of booking themselves a place in the Third Round of one of women’s football’s most prestigious competitions.
Unfortunately for the Dons, though, it was the Gills that looked the more likely to progress early on as they raced into to a two-goal lead at the interval, a scoreline that could have looked a lot worse if not for some strong goalkeeping from Trip Witney.
The Ladies lost Captain Hannah Barrett to injury at half-time but gave themselves a glimmer of hope soon after the restart through Emily Mann (pictured), as Dyer’s team began to imprint their neat style of passing football on the game.
The Dons then suffered another blow when defender Liv Dacosta was forced to withdraw mid-way through the second period, before a four-goal salvo from Gillingham put paid to the side’s participation in the competition.
The powerful and direct Gills side were too much for Dons in the end, but manager Dyer was still left feeling proud of his young side, who matched their higher-league opponents at times during the match.
He said: “Despite the defeat I’m very proud of my young side. For them to go head to head with a side in the division above and show the determination, pride and strength of character they did is admirable – they never gave up.”
The Ladies will now re-focus their attention on their League campaign, as they host bottom-of-the-table Crystal Palace this Sunday at Newport Pagnell Town Football Club.