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Ladies extend lead at top

8 February 2017

Hannah Barrett and Leah Cudone both struck twice to ensure MK Dons Ladies beat Ipswich Town Ladies and moved four points clear at the top of the league.

The Dons had to come from behind to achieve their 4-1 victory after Lindsay Cooper put Ipswich ahead after 16 minutes.

However, it did not take long for the in-form Dons to get back on level terms as two minutes later Cudone grabbed her first of the game.

A mere minute later Barrett grabbed the lead for the Dons heading home the ball from a corner as they turned the game around.

The Dons extended their lead just before half-time with Barrett getting on the scoresheet again to make their lead more secure.

It was then not until the 89th minute that anymore goals were scored, with Cudone rounding off another successful afternoon for the Dons when she scored from distance.

Despite the scoreline appearing comfortable in the end, Ipswich put the Dons on the backfoot at the start of the game.

Ipswich knocked the ball around and carved out chances - the home side didn't have to wait long for the opener.

The goal came from a corner as Cooper found herself in space and powerfully headed the ball into the net from a Hollie Clement delivery.

Having fallen behind, the Dons upped their performance instantly and were rewarded courtesy of Cudone. Kerry Newman, having ran into space, crossed the ball towards the back post from the right side and Cudone tapped it past the Ipswich keeper.

With the Dons back on level terms, the momentum continued in their favour. One minute after Cudone’s equaliser, Barrett headed home a cross, looping the ball over the keeper to make it 2-1.

After two goals in quick succession, the game settled down with both teams having opportunities.

Ipswich Town Ladies went close to an equaliser after Clement, who had already got an assist to her name, hit the upright of the goal from a free-kick just outside the box.

After nearly losing the lead, the Dons went closer to confirming all three points before half-time, as Barrett once again headed the ball past the keeper to grab herself another goal and extend the Dons’ lead.

Shortly into the second half, Cudone went close to making it 4-1 through a spectacular effort but was denied by the crossbar.

Ipswich Town Ladies responded to that miss by nearly pulling a goal back through Clement. Clement struck a well-placed free-kick towards goal but was denied by Savannah Smith who tipped the ball away from goal.

Aimee Harrison then had an opportunity for Ipswich, but Smith once again kept the Dons’ two-goal lead in tact.

Cudone, determined to grab her second goal of the game, had a couple of chances in the final moments of the game. While her first effort went wide of the post, her second effort made it 4-1 to the Dons.

She scored her goal having cut inside from the left wing to find space. Cudone then proceeded to powerfully strike the ball with her right foot just inside the post, leaving the keeper with no chance.

Cudone’s goal wrapped up the game for the Dons in style. The Dons now sit four points clear at the top of the South East Division 1, and face Norwich City Ladies away next weekend.

Speaking after the game, Charlie Bill said: “We started the first 15 minutes of the game poorly and got punished.

“The ladies deserve massive credit for the character shown to get back in front - it showed we could grind out a win.

“The work rate of each individual couldn’t be faulted.”

Starting XI: Smith, Clarke (c), Holland, Gillings, Howes, Newman (Gooderham, 70), Cudone, Barrett, Wright, Nuttall, Newsome.

Unused subs: Naylor, Vass.

Goals: Cudone (18 & 89), Barrett (19 & 44)

Attendance: 32.


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