Amelia Hazard set MK Dons Ladies on their way by scoring in the second-half to help her side defeat Denham United 2-0.
After drawing in their previous two meetings, the Dons were finally able to earn the victory, which sees them move on to round two of the FA Women’s Premier League Plate.
The Dons had to be patient, with Hazard scoring the game’s opening goal in the 78th minute, converting Charly Wright’s cross.
Kerry Newman quickly doubled the Dons lead minutes later, after Laura Mills’ shot was saved. Hazard won the ball back and it eventually fell to Newman after a scramble, and she kept her composure to fire it into the net.
After their victory in the competition, which kept their unbeaten streak alive, the Dons return to league action next Sunday when they face Luton Town.
Both sides started the game on the front foot, contesting for possession from the first whistle, though neither could gain a foothold in the first 15 minutes.
Amy Gooderham nearly scored the opening goal in the 21st minute, striking the ball from the edge of the box. However, her shot hit the inside of the left post, before being cleared by Denham.
The Dons stayed on the attack for several minutes with Dawn Mallett, Hazard, Anna Loftus and Wright all trying to create opportunities.
Gooderham had another opportunity to be the first goalscorer when Newman whipped a cross into the box, buts she headed the chance narrowly wide.
Like Gooderham earlier in the half, Mallett then tested the woodwork. After some neat touches, Mallett shot from 27-yards out, only to see her powerful effort hit the underside of the crossbar before being cleared.
Denham applied some late pressure on the Dons’ goal moments before the end of the first-half, but solid defending from Sasha Newsome and Vicky Holland stopped any danger.
The Dons started the second-half strong with Mallett and Gooderham both working the goalkeeper with shots on target.
Newman and Charley Clarke, who had came on as a substitute, both tried their luck from distance but to no avail.
After dominating possession in the second-half, the Dons finally had a goal to show for their efforts in the 78th minute. Loftus switched the play to Wright on the left wing, who played an inch-perfect cross towards the far post. Hazard, who was alert enough to make a run into the box from midfield, calmly put the ball past a stretching Denham goalkeeper.
Once the first goal had been scored, the Dons played with even more confidence and did not take long to double their lead.
In the 82nd minute, substitute Laura Mills shot the ball towards the top right corner of the goal from outside the box, forcing the keeper to stretch to stop it going in. The goalkeeper tried to collect the parried ball, but Hazard was quicker and managed to somehow work the ball to Newman, who had made her way into the box. With the goalkeeper out of position, Newman blasted the ball into the net to double the Dons’ lead.
With eight minutes remaining the Dons saw out the victory, holding on to their clean sheet as well.
Speaking after the game, captain Louise Naylor said: “We’re delighted with the victory, we know we can go far in the competition.”
Naylor continued focusing on her happiness about the Dons keeping a clean sheet, saying: “ I think especially against Denham, our aim was to get a clean sheet, as we had previously conceded sloppy goals against them from free-kicks.
“We just kept to the game plan and didn’t give them chances.”
James Honeyman followed up Naylor’s comments by revealing how pleased he was with the victory, saying: “Really happy with today’s result, we’ve done what we set out to do.
“We knew it was going to be tough, they’re very defensive and were going to keep us out. But we also knew they had weapons that could go and attack.”
In regards to how far he feels his side can now go in the tournament, Honeyman was confident. He said: “We know now we’re only a couple of games away from the quarters and semi-finals.
“I think we’re good enough to do well in the tournament, maybe good enough to win it.”
Starting XI: Smith, Holland, Naylor (c), Newsome, Hughes, Hazard, Wright, Gooderham (Mills), Loftus (Gillings 86), Newman, Mallett (Clarke 71).
Unused subs: Doyle, Burgess.
Goals: Hazard (78), Newman (82).