Heather McDonnell fired MK Dons Ladies to a comfortable win on Sunday, scoring twice to help her side run out 4-1 winners against Actonians.
Despite piling on the pressure, the Dons had to wait until the second half to score again, where once again McDonnell scored a spectacular goal from outside the box, after the opportunity was created for her by Leah Cudone.
Substitute Sophie Watson took her opportunity to make an impact, striking a powerful shot that left the keeper no chance, making the Dons look comfortable at 3-0.
However, Actonians Ladies did then grab a goal back straight away to make it 3-1, after a shot got deflected into the Dons’ net, leaving Emma Kirby with no chance of saving it.
Actonians scoring didn’t worry the Dons, as captain Charley Clarke stepped up to ensure the Dons saw out the game comfortably, by striking the ball into the top right hand corner of the net to make it 4-1.
The Dons started the game comfortably with Hannah Barrett firing in a dangerous cross, but the ball narrowly missed Wright which allowed Actonians Ladies to clear.
McDonnell scored the first goal of the game at the 15 minute mark to make the Dons superior possession count.
The Dons created several chances in the first half , with Kara Howes, Sasha Newsome and McDonnell all having opportunities to double the Dons’ lead, but their shots went wide of the target.
At the 67th minute mark, the Dons fired the ball forward which Cudone beautifully controlled before laying the ball off to McDonnell, who struck the ball into the top corner giving the Actonians keeper no chance and the Dons a two goal advantage.
Cudone nearly added to her assist as the ball fell to her in the box, but she blasted the ball over much to Actonians Ladies’ relief.
Watson, after coming on for the injured Anna Loftus, made a near instant impact, using her pace to create some space for herself before firing the ball into the top corner of the net, to give the Dons a 3-0 lead.
Actonians Ladies instantly grabbed a goal back from the resulting kick-off after a mix up at the back for the Dons saw an Actonians’ shot deflected into the goal to make the game 3-1.
Then just before the game finished, Clarke rounded off the Dons’ impressive display by striking the ball into the top corner from just outside the box.
Speaking after the game, both manager James Honeyman and captain Clarke expressed their joy at the result and performance that went with it.
Honeyman said: “I think the result was the right one – we were dominant and it was good to finally get the reward.
“We did have a spell in the middle where we went back to old habits but we are learning and developing.”
Clarke added to her manager’s thoughts while also reflecting on getting on the scoresheet, when she said: “It’s good to get on the score-sheet, but also good for the players that have been needing a goal and got one.
“It’s especially good for their confidence after getting a couple of dodgy results, as we went into today knowing we needed to win but also that we needed to get the performance right.”
Starting XI: Kirby, Howes (Naylor 83), Holland, Gillings, Newsome, Doyle, McDonnell, Clarke (c), Cudone, Wright (Loftus 66 (Watson 71)), Barrett.
Unused subs: Smith
Goal: McDonnell (15, 67), Watson (87), Clarke (90)