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Match Reports

Ladies suffer FA Cup defeat

James Honeyman's side fall to late defeat against Cardiff City...

6 December 2017

Match Reports

Ladies suffer FA Cup defeat

James Honeyman's side fall to late defeat against Cardiff City...

6 December 2017

James Honeyman was "proud" of his side despite MK Dons Ladies being eliminated from the SSE Women’s FA Cup against Cardiff City Ladies.

The Dons did everything but score in their game against the higher ranked opposition - including striking the woodwork.

Cardiff City scored the only goal of the game with five minutes left to go, and despite the Dons continuing to show fight in the game, they were unable to grab an equaliser.

The Dons now turn their attention to another piece of silverware, as next Sunday they travel to face Norwich City in the Second Round of the FA WPL Plate.

The Dons started the game brightly and dominated possession for the opening portion of the game.

Laura Mills nearly gave the Dons a perfect start as her cross curled towards goal, grazing the crossbar forcing Cardiff goalkeeper to parry away.

After some attractive football by the Dons, which saw Charley Clarke, Alice Hughes and Amelia Hazard combine in midfield - the ball fell to Leanna Doyle on the edge of the area.

The captain tried to volley home but her effort was charged down by the Cardiff defence.

Cardiff then looked dangerous in the 13th minute as they whipped in a free-kick from the right-wing which Sophie Shults couldn’t catch cleanly - but Mollie Burgess was there to clear the danger.

The Dons won a free-kick, 25-yards from goal, which Abbie Roberts struck cleanly, forcing the goalkeeper to once again stretch to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Cardiff looked like they had scored in the 25th minute as they put the ball into the back of the net, but the referee ruled the goal out after a foul in the build-up.

Burgess continued to clear all Cardiff attacks for the Dons, and was aided by both Louise Naylor and Vicky Holland. The latter producing a last-ditch tackle when Cardiff looked like they were through on goal.

Before half-time, the Dons looked like they through on goal themselves as Hughes played a beautiful pass just in front of a charging Mills. However, the striker opted to pass the ball to Heather McDonnell and she was ruled offside.

With the scores level at the break, both teams emerged for the second-half looking determined not to see the tie go to extra time.

Cardiff’s right winger thought she’d scored the opening goal in the 49th minute, but her effort agonisingly hit the left post and Shults was able to clear.

In the 63rd minute, the Dons thought they had scored but their effort hit the inside post, then the underside of the crossbar before the Cardiff goalkeeper cleared the danger.

Mills created an opportunity for Anna Loftus to break the deadlock moments later, but her powerful shot ended the wrong side of the right post.

Shults then kept the scores level with two acrobatic saves in a row to deny Cardiff taking the lead.

However, there was nothing she could in the 85th minute as Cardiff created a one-on-one opportunity. Shults tried to close down the angle but Cardiff slotted the ball into the bottom left corner to take the lead. 

Mills had one more effort before the game ended as she tried to tie the scores up, but she couldn’t beat the Cardiff goalkeeper.

The Dons exit the competition at the Second Round, matching their previous best - which they achieved last season.

James Honeyman was proud of his team’s performance against the higher-ranked opposition and spoke highly of his team after the game.

“I thought we were excellent, we executed our gameplan perfectly, we absolutely dominated the game and showed how good we are.

“But the reason Cardiff are doing well in the league above is their ability to be ruthless, the goal they got was from a girl who maybe had two chances all game and she scored one.”

Starting XI: Shults, Doyle (c), Holland (Goodier, 88), Burgess, Hughes, Naylor, Clarke, Hazard (Loftus, 64), Mills, Roberts (Wright,83), McDonnell

Unused subs: Newsome

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