MK Dons Ladies recorded an emphatic win over West Ham United Ladies on Sunday, with Leah Cudone grabbing four goals to help the Dons win 7-0.
She tapped in her first off Hannah Barrett's shot and her second goal came following some patient build-up – Clarke released the ever-dangerous Cudone down the right and she proceeded to blast the ball past the West Ham keeper. 2-0.
Clarke led by example and scored the pick of the game’s goals just before half-time, when she struck the ball into the top corner of the net from 20-yards out. 3-0.
Opportunities on goal for West Ham Ladies were few and far between but they did create one clear-cut chance from a well-worked corner, but Clarke cleared the danger for the Dons.
Hannah Barratt then went close to extend her side’s lead before the half-time whistle, but was stopped by the Hammers goalie.
The Dons started the second half strong, going close to a fourth goal with several chances created for McDonell and Cudone.
It was not long before Barratt made the Dons’ positive start to the second half count, when she fired the ball into the top right corner. 4-0.
Sophie Watson made it 5-0 shortly after, with 25 minutes still left to play, when she scored the rebound after her first two shots from inside the box were blocked by a combination of the goalkeeper and her defence.
Cudone then grabbed her third goal of the game, confirming her hat-trick, when, after her first shot was carried away by the keeper, she was able to slot home the rebound. 6-0.
She wasn’t done there as, shortly after, she burst through on goal and ran the ball across the line after the West Ham keeper was unable to hold the initial strike. 7-0.
Just before the full-time whistle, new signing Rebecca Vass almost headed home an eighth goal after Cudone whipped a cross into the box, but the keeper was able to pull off an acrobatic save to deny her.
Speaking after the game, captain Charley Clarke said she believes the side is ‘improving with every game’ and is confident if the side keep performing, then they have a ‘great chance of competing for promotion’ in the upcoming season.
She said: “I think we’re improving with every game. We’ve got a few more pre-seasons games to come but if we keep performing like that and James (Honeyman) brings in more tactics as we progress, I think we have a great chance of competing for promotion which is what we’re looking for.”
Starting XI: Smith, Gillings (Loftus 53), Howkes, Naylor, Holland, Clarke (c), Newman, McDonnell, Vass, Barratt (Watson 64), Cudone,
Unused Subs: Lander
Goals: Cudone (5, 25, 75, 79), Clark (42), Barratt (57), Watson (66).