Charlie Bill’s Women progress into the final of the Berks & Bucks Women’s Senior County Cup after a 3-0 victory at home eliminated Reading from the competition.
Due to a Women’s Super League fixture between Reading and Everton that took place on Sunday afternoon, the opposition was compiled of Under-23 academy players.
The Royals’ academy also faced MK Dons in the quarter-final of this competition last campaign, but results this time around were altered in the home side’s favour.
A bright start from the Dons granted them an early control in the opening stages of the game, which allowed the hosts to take advantage and break the deadlock eight minutes after the starting whistle.
The top goal-scorer Mollie Coupar increased her tally to 16 for the season after she connected with Kerry Newman’s cross brilliantly. The technique from the forward to volley the ball past the ‘keeper emphasised the incredible form she continues to display on a weekly basis. 1-0
The game had settled slightly following the number 18’s opener, but MK Dons continued to press their attack in the search to double their lead over the opposition that bested them the year prior.
Successfully, Charlie Bill’s Women double their advantage 15 minutes before the break. Angelina Nixon demonstrated intelligent play before the number seven scored her seventh goal of the current campaign. Nixon’s mesmerising skill gifted her the space to get past her defenders before she unleashed a strike into the top-right corner of the net. 2-0
Well-worked goals crafted from moments of magic by the home side allowed a two-goal cushion within the first 40 minutes of play, but the action didn’t end there.
Minutes before the interval, the Dons furthered their lead to three. A young Reading defence misread a delivery into the box by Coupar, which led to the third goal through a forced error as the Royals misplaced the ball into the back of their own net. 3-0
The first half had come to a conclusion and MK Dons held a comfortable 3-0 lead as the teams returned to their respective dressing rooms.
The second 45 minutes did not replicate the heaps of action that occurred throughout the first stage of the match.
Following their hard work within the first half, MK Dons just needed to remain focused defensively in order to guarantee their spot in the final of the tournament.
Ensuring that they held a three-goal deficit over Reading was key to managing a successful semi-final for Charlie Bill and his side. The home team had created themselves the opportunity to be a step closer to silverware, all they needed to do now was defend that chance.
Their efforts at the top of the field were matched by the tenacity throughout the team in their shared desire to not only claim victory, but to keep a clean sheet against a WSL side’s academy.
A well-deserved victory for MK Dons, accompanied by a clean sheet for captain Sansom, ensured a successful progression into the Berks & Bucks Women’s Senior County Cup final.
It’s an impressive feat to reach the final of any competition. Now, only one team stand in the way of MK Dons Women and their goal to lift the trophy.
MK Dons: Sansom (C), Warren, Puddick, Biggadike, Nixon, Rush (Bennett 45), Pepper (Gould 85), Miles (Samuels 85), Coupar (McLean 63), Mitchell (Miceli 63), Newman
Goals: Coupar 8, Nixon 30, Own Goal 41
Images captured by CTFPhotography