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Report: Luton 2-1 Ladies

29 September 2016

Despite taking the lead through Leah Cudone, MK Dons Ladies left Kenilworth Road empty-handed having suffered a 2-1 defeat to local rivals Luton Town Ladies.

Cudone put the Dons ahead in the 21st minute, after some neat passes gave her the opportunity to strike the ball into the bottom left corner.

Though the Dons couldn’t hold onto their lead for long, as Jess McKay caught Sav Smith out of her goal, and lobbed the ball into the net to get the Hatters back on level terms.

The Hatters then went into the lead in the second half, after whipping in a dangerous corner which caused a scramble in the box, Nicola Henman was able to force the ball across the line, to put the Hatters 2-1 ahead.

The Hatters then held onto their lead with both sides having several chances, but it was the Hatters who ended the game having earnt all three points.

The Dons started the game brightly with Hannah Barrett having a couple of opportunities, including a volley that just went over the crossbar.

The Hatters looked dangerous on the counter attack and if it wasn’t for the efforts of Leanna Doyle, the Dons would have fallen behind, but she was able to deal with the danger.

Cudone then took her opportunity to get on the scoresheet firing the ball into the bottom corner of the net after she found herself space in the box. 0-1.

Charley Clarke then proceeded to get herself into a shooting position after some neat touches, but was unable to find the target, shooting the ball wide of the left post.

The Hatters got the equaliser to kick-start their game, when McKay took advantage of the ball falling to her on the wing while Smith was out of position, hitting a beautiful lob to ensure she beat Smith who tried to get back to save the goal.

The sides went in at the break drawing 1-1 but the Dons came out determined to regain their lead with Cudone finding herself in space one again but this time she was unable to hit the target.

The Hatters were then able to take the lead, when they played a corner into the box which caused confusion amongst everyone, and somehow the ball made its way across the line, making it 2-1 to the hosts.

Clarke then tried to lead her side by example by scoring a memorable goal. The ball fell to her just outside the box and she struck it sweetly, but unfortunately the frame of the goal denied her.

In what was a physical game, the Dons had several opportunities from free-kicks but were unable to make any of them count.

The Hatters tried to make the win comfortable having several opportunities to put the game to bed, but they were unable to find the third goal, even though they created clear cut chances.

Even though they couldn’t make it three, the Hatters held onto their lead as the Dons’ poor second half performance saw them slump to a 2-1 defeat against their local rivals.

James Honeyman (pictured) speaking after the game made no excuses for his team, he said: “ I am gutted about the performance, we really let ourselves down and I think we’ve done that twice already this season against teams we really should be beating.

“ We are looking for excuses and there are none, today it was a group of players who didn’t do well enough, simple as.

“We can go back, we can review and we can reflect but at the end of the day we were not good enough, our players were struggling under the pressure of being behind and that’s just not good enough.”

The Dons are now looking to bounce back on Sunday when they face Ipswich Town Ladies at Willen Road.

Starting XI: Smith, Clarke (c) , Holland, Newsome (Newman, 84), Gillings, Doyle, McDonnell, Howes, (Brooks, 84) Wright (Watson, 66), Cudone, Barrett

Unused subs: Kirby, Naylor

Goal: Cudone (21).

Attendance: 332

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