MK Dons Ladies were beaten 1-0 by their Chichester City Ladies counterparts at Stadium MK on Sunday afternoon.
Molly Clark struck late on for Chichester City Ladies in order to earn her side a narrow 1-0 victory over MK Dons Ladies in their latest league outing.
Clark powerfully hit the ball from 30-yards-out in the 86th minute of the match - her effort beat Dons goalkeeper Sophie Shults at her near post.
The Dons believed they had weathered the storm in order to earn a point from the game, as Chichester Ladies were denied on several occasions by Shults - but the visitors done enough to leave MK1 will all three points.
Both teams battled hard from the start of the game and it was the Dons who nearly made the early breakthrough.
Alice Hughes won the ball back on the left-flank before expertly passing the ball to Leah Littlechild who shot narrowly wide.
Chichester then applied heavy pressure which saw Shults have to make two saves in quick succession, as first, she had to deny Clark from scoring from 20-yards-out before saving Sharan Capel-Watson’s effort from close range.
The Dons keeper was then called back into action mere minutes later in order to pull another couple of saves off in a short space of time as Chichester continued to attack.
Shults cleverly used her feet to block Jade Widdows scoring from a point-blank range before denying Clark from scoring from a cross that ended up being whipped right at the goal.
Following this moment the Dons attempted to launch a counter-attack which saw the ball booted forward for Hughes to run onto, but she was quickly closed down by Sadie Blakely who was between the sticks for Chichester.
Kerry Newman nearly manufactured a chance for the Dons just before the half-time whistle as she skillfully bypassed two players in midfield before playing the ball to Hughes but she didn’t manage to find the space in order to test the Chichester goalkeeper.
When the two sides emerged from the half time break, Chichester nearly took the lead as Sara Tubby headed the ball at the Dons goal but once again Shults was there to deny her.
The Dons then nearly had the opportunity to grab a goal against the run of play as after Ellen Martin whipped in a dangerous free-kick from the wing, Cudone nearly found the space to volley it home but she didn’t fully connect with the ball which saw her effort not trouble the keeper.
Chichester quickly responded to the Dons’ half-chance by once again launching several dangerous attacks which Shults managed to deny resulting in a goal.
Yet there was nothing the Dons keeper could do in the 86th minute as Clark appeared to attempt to cross the ball into the box only for it to swerve at goal instead and beat Shults at her near post.
The Dons attempted to press after going a goal behind but weren’t able to create any clear-cut chances that worked the Chichester goalkeeper.
Before the match ended the Dons did have to finish the game with only 10-players on the pitch as Heather McDonnell was carried off injured and her side had used up all their subs.
Speaking after the game James Honeyman issued his verdict on the Dons’ performance and shared that the team will learn from conceding late.
“We executed our game plan perfectly as we looked to frustrate and catch them on the counter which we did,” said Honeyman.
“Sure it’s gutting to concede in the 86th minute but it’s all part of the learning curve.”
The Dons are back in action on Tuesday as they travel to face Oxford United Women in their first away league fixture of the season.
Starting XI: Shults, Doyle, McDonnell, Burgess, Holland, Clarke, Naylor (Bright, 74), Newman (Boote, 86), Littlechild (Cudone, 56), Martin, Hughes
Unused Subs: Chiarizia