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Report: Ladies 5-3 Ipswich Town Ladies

3 October 2016

Hat-trick hero Heather McDonnell ensured the Dons left with all three points, helping her side come from behind to win 5-3 against Ipswich Town Ladies.

McDonnell started the game as she meant to go on, firing the Dons into the lead on 22 minutes, before Leah Cudone helped the Dons seem comfortable by scoring a second goal four minutes later.

Ipswich Town Ladies fought back with Jade Henry grabbing a goal back before half-time. Ipswich Town Ladies added to their goal straight away in the second half with Roxanne Small blasting the ball into the back of the net.

Ipswich Town Ladies proceeded to take the lead after Hollie Clement struck a free-kick from just outside the box into the top corner of the Dons’ net, leaving Emma Kirby no chance and putting Clement’s side in front.

The Dons then pulled off a comeback of their own, with McDonnell grabbing a second goal from the penalty spot to put the teams on level terms, before she struck again with five minutes left on the clock, to get her hat-trick and put the Dons ahead. Hannah Barrett guaranteed all three points moments later, heading home an inch-perfect cross from Charly Wright to see the Dons record their third win of the season.

The Dons started the game brightly, nearly going 1-0 up in the first minute when Sammy Gillings passed the ball to Barrett, but the shot went wide of the post.

McDonnell then grabbed the first goal of the game - her third of the season - expertly striking the ball into the net which gave the keeper no chance of saving it.

After the goal, Barrett and Sophie Watson both carved out opportunities for themselves as the Dons searched for their second, but were unable to beat the keeper on both occasions.

Cudone made the next breakthrough, grabbing the Dons’ second goal of the game after a series passes between the team left her in space.

Ipswich Town Ladies then started to come back into the game, pulling a goal back through Henry, who struck from just outside the box moments before half time to make it 2-1.

Within three minutes of the second half starting, Ipswich Town Ladies got back on level terms courtesy of Small powerfully striking the ball past Kirby.

They then struck again within a matter of minutes to gain the lead, as Clement converted a free-kick from just outside the box.

The Dons weren’t behind for long, though, as Cudone burst into the box, winning her side penalty which McDonnell calmly fired into the top corner.

Barrett and McDonnell then had opportunities to put the Dons in front once again, with Barrett going as close as to hit the crossbar from 30 yards out.

McDonnell then completed her hat-trick with five minutes left to play, smashing the ball into the goal as she put the Dons within minutes of grasping all three points.

Barrett, who had gone close several times in the match, got the goal she deserved when she headed home substitute Wright’s cross with a couple of minutes left to go.

James Honeyman was happy his side achieved the right result after it looked in jeopardy during the second half: “I think it was a shame we got ourselves into a position where we had to score two late goals, but that was the right result in that game.

“For 75 minutes we were fantastic and had a 15 minute blip, they caught us cold just after half time - lessons were learnt from that.

“I think the reaction to going behind is what we’ve been needing, we haven’t had that yet, to go 3-2 down is disappointing but the reaction to turn it around was brilliant.”

Hat-trick hero McDonnell also spoke after the game, and reflected on how happy she was to get the goals required to win the game. She said: “I’m really happy, it has taken quite a while to get to a point where I’m confident in scoring goals and it has been something particularly in the last season that I lacked in my game.”

McDonnell, who is now the top goalscorer for the Dons this season, realised how important it was to score the penalty that put the Dons back on level terms.

She said: “A couple of things went through my head, firstly I knew I had to score because if I missed that it would have kind of set the next section of the game off on a real negative, and secondly that I had to keep my nerve as I am one of the more experienced players in the side it’s my duty to do that."

The Dons now play host to the Hatters for the third time this season on Wednesday at Willen Road.

Starting XI: Kirby, Naylor, Gillings, Clarke (c) , Doyle (Howes 72), Holland, Barrett, Newsome (Newman 77), Watson (Wright 56), McDonnell, Cudone

Unused Subs: Smith

Goals: McDonnell (22, 59, 85) Cudone (26) Barrett (87).



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