Hannah Barrett ensured the MK Dons Ladies remained top of the South East Division 1 as she grabbed the only goal of the game to achieve victory against Enfield Town Ladies.
Even though as the game went on the conditions worsened, the Dons were able to get the win thanks to Barrett putting them 1-0 up within the opening three minutes of the game.
The ball fell to Barrett, who was in space just outside the box, and with the Enfield Town Ladies goalkeeper out of position after saving a previous effort, she comfortably volleyed it into the open goal.
The Dons continued to create chances throughout the game but were unable to increase their lead. However, the Dons worked hard and stayed organised as a team, while Enfield Town Ladies tried to grab an equaliser and earn themselves a draw.
The Dons pressed Enfield Town Ladies as soon as they kicked the game off, and continued to maintain that level of pressure.
The only goal of the game came from the first clear-cut chance of the game as the Dons pushed forward as a team. Charly Wright had an effort saved by a charging keeper but despite Enfield Town Ladies’ best efforts to clear the ball, it fell to Barrett, who proceeded to hit it first time on the volley perfectly into the bottom corner of the empty net.
After the goal Enfield Town Ladies, determined to get back on level terms, quickly created two opportunities from distance but Savannah Smith easily dealt with both chances.
The Dons, looking to increase their lead, created three chances in quick succession. Goalscorer Barrett had the first of these three, creating space for herself just outside the box, but she couldn’t keep her shot down.
Charley Clarke then played a through ball towards Heather McDonnell, however, the Enfield Town Ladies goalkeeper narrowed the angle quickly and McDonnell’s shot struck the goalkeeper before it was cleared.
Clarke was once again involved as she headed down Wright’s corner so that Barrett could have an attempt from inside the box, but the ball bounced awkwardly and Barrett fired it narrowly over.
The only other two chances for goal in the first half came courtesy of Wright’s set pieces. Firstly she took a free-kick from just outside the box, and while that the struck the wall, the ball rebounded to her. Wright then smashed the rebound towards the top left corner of the goal, forcing an acrobatic save from the Enfield Town Ladies keeper.
Wright followed that up by whipping the ball into the box from a corner and Clarke tried to guide it home, but it went wide of the left post.
After the Dons kicked off the second half, Enfield Town Ladies tried to catch them off guard and won themselves a corner. The resulting corner nearly put the teams on level terms, but Sammy Gillings was there to head it off the line.
The Dons then made a change as Amy Gooderham was replaced by Kerry Newman and it nearly paid off when Newman fired the ball across the face of Enfield Town Ladies’ goal. Despite their best attempts, neither Barrett or McDonnell could connect with it and the score remained 1-0.
With the wind picking up and stopping the flow of both teams, chances were few and far between. However, Gillings nearly found herself with a goalscoring chance after Barrett played her in but a last-ditch tackle stopped her having a shot.
Just before the end of the game, Barrett nearly doubled the lead as Clarke chipped the ball to her in the box, but the Enfield Town Ladies goalkeeper once again made the save.
Speaking after the game, defender Leanna Doyle was relieved that her side held on to all three points. She said: “I feel relief to be honest as it wasn’t our best performance. They’re quite an organised team and they stopped us playing at times.
“But we put in a professional performance. We got the goal early which helped, we battled through and it’s a massive three points.”
Honeyman reinforced Doyle’s view that it wasn’t the team’s best performance, stating: “I think that’s the worse we’ve played all season - to play that bad and win shows that we have got the quality.
“I don’t think we helped ourselves at times but at the end of the day you get the same points for a 1-0 win as you do for a 7-0 win.”
Starting XI: Smith, Howes, Doyle, Holland, Gillings, Naylor (Newsome, 82), Clarke (c), Wright, McDonnell (Hazard, 68), Gooderham (Newman, 55), Barrett.
Unused sub: Kirby.
Goal: Barrett (3).