Sunday 3rd March
The football action this Sunday comes from the FAWNL Plate. The competition reaching the the last 4, with Milton Keynes Dons Ladies taking on Liverpool Feds Women, the prize for the winner a place in a national final.
Gillingham FC Ladies play West Bromich Albion Women in the other FAWNL Plate semi-final.
A Determining Round played at the start of the season to decide which FAWNL sides from a 6 divisions with play in, the winners of that game going on to contest the League Cup the losing sides entering the League Plate. Both competitions down to the last 4.
Milton Keynes Dons Ladies are newly promoted to the Southern Premier Division after winning the South East Division One title last season. Beginning to find their feet at a higher level, currently 10th with 4 league wins are well clear of the bottom 2. Have saved their best form for the cup. As well as reaching the FAWNL Plate semi-finals, have enjoyed a good run in this season’s FA Women’s Cup and are once again through to the Bucks and Berks Women’s County Cup Final a competition the club has dominated in recent seasons.
A bye for Milton Keynes Dons Ladies in the 1st Round of the Plate, they were away to South West Division One side Brislington Ladies in the 2nd Round, a 3-0 win seeing them safely into the 3rd Round. A home tie against Midlands Division One side Bedworth United Ladies needing to be settled by an extra-time winner, Milton Keynes winning 2-1. At home once more in the quarter finals, just last Sunday a tough game against promotion chasing Keynsham Town Ladies from South West Division One, Milton Keynes 2-1 down with the clock running down Amy Gooderham levelling the scores with a last gasp goal to send the tie into extra-time. No more goals the game heading into a penalty shoot-out Milton Keynes edging it 6-5 to advance to the semi-finals.
Liverpool Feds Women play in the FAWNL Northern Division One currently in mid-table and into the final of their own County Cup competition. Are looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Division one sides, Enfield Town Ladies and Luton Town Ladies in reaching their first ever National League final. Pushed Northern Premier Division leaders Blackburn Rovers Ladies all the way in the Determining Round just missing out on penalties.
Into the Plate competition received a bye in the 1st Round. At home to fellow Northern Division one side Crewe Alexandra Ladies in the 2nd Round 2nd half goals from Jennifer Rogers and Demi Devereaux securing a 2-0 win. Onto the 3rd Round and another home fixture, a 3rd minute goal from Devereaux the different for Liverpool Feds as they beat fellow league side Chester Le Street Ladies 1-0 to set up a 3rd successive home tie in the quarter finals against Southern Premier Division side Middlesborough Women. 1st half goals from Jodie Mortimer and Carla Lee seeing them cause an upset against higher league opposition to reach the last 4.
Milton Keynes Dons Ladies have from the beginning of this season played the majority of their home matches at Stadium MK itself. One of the leading football stadiums in the country aswell as hosting MK Dons the facility has hosted a number of national sporting events including England’s Lionesses. A fantastic venue to play at good for the Milton Keynes Dons Ladies as well as a great experience for all the sides visiting. A top quality playing surface and progress to let the women’s side use it on a regular basis. The weather a far cry from last weekend but that was the exception pretty much back to normal for the beginning of March, rain over night and falling for much of the journey down. Overcast and gloomy showers possible throughout the afternoon. Plenty of cover to be had inside the stadium.
Milton Keynes Dons Ladies – Emma Kirby, Leanna Doyle (C), Louise Naylor, Laura Bright, Vicky Holland, Alice Hughes, Chlarizia Mia, Ellie Gough, Kerry Newman, Leah Cudone & Amy Gooderham. Subs – Sophie Shults, Charley Clarke, Sasha Newcombe, Charly Wright & Kim Farrow.
Liverpool Feds Women – Meghan Pope, Rosie Kinvig, Abby Pope, Nicola James, Caroline Charlton, Jodie Mortimer, Chantelle Thompson (C), Amy Seagraves, Demi Devereaux, Jennifer Rogers & Carla Lee. Subs – Natalie Clark, Laura Bartup, Helen Griffiths, Mollie Farley & Emily Douglas.
It’s Liverpool to kick-off the Plate semi-final wearing an all navy kit, with Milton Keynes lined up opposite in an all white strip with gold trim. The visitors move the ball left forced to come back inside the ball played into centre back Nicola James on halfway her forwards ball intercepted takes a deflection of the defender sending it out into the right channel into the path of Liverpool attacker Jennifer Rogers 25 yards out she takes on the shot the ball racing wide of the post.
Liverpool making a positive start to the game flood forwards the ball left Demi Devereaux given the ball central lets fly from 20 yards Emma Kirby diving at her near post pushing the ball wide for a corner kick. The ball in towards the near post defended for a 2nd corner, this taken short Milton Keynes prevent the cross attempt to counter, Liverpool quick to close the ball down and regain possession.
Amy Seagraves on the ball for Liverpool takes it right has Rogers ahead of her, the pair joined by full back Rosie Kinvig back up the line for Seagraves she lofts a high ball in towards the top of the area the header won by Milton Keynes’ Chlarizia Mia. Liverpool have their opponents on the back foot early on pressing the ball and quick to launch attacks. Ellie Gough with the ball for Milton Keynes drives through the middle looks to thread the ball on for Amy Gooderham leading the attack, Liverpool captain Chantelle Thompson tracking back putting the tackle in to win the ball outside the box. The visitors get hold of the ball on the middle rolled out to Carla Lee moving left drives forwards into the area shoots the ball across the keeper strikes the base of the far post.
GOAL! Liverpool have dominated the play in the opening 9 minutes and the pressure exerted brings them a deserved goal. Mounting an attack on the left Devereaux chasing the ball to the byline manages to send a cross in towards goal, Kirby down at her near post the ball squeezes through her and to her dismay is over the line before it can be cleared 0-1.
A sluggish start to the game from Milton Keynes the goal conceded the jolt they needed, press on from the restart the ball from Gough into Kerry Newman left side head down she drives on, Caroline Charlton coming across to support Kinvig, no way through for Newman. A throw out on the right level with the top of the Liverpool box dropped into Alice Hughes, turns pushes on into the area past two players before shooting the ball held at the near post by Meghan Pope keeping goal for Liverpool.
A free-kick won on halfway for Milton Keynes defender Laura Bright to play the ball up towards the top of the area, Charlton up with Gooderham winning the header for Liverpool. Gough with Newman to her left build it attack for Milton Keynes coming central, Gooderham looks to break in behind, Liverpool are quick to close down the threat. Devereaux bombing on down the left wing cuts inside unleashing a shot from outside the box, Kirby getting down making the safe gloving the ball away inside the box, no one on the follow up Bright sends it clear.
Seagraves along with Thompson and Jodie Mortimer working hard to close the ball down in the middle, break up any forward momentum Milton Keynes are trying to make. Seagraves winning the ball right plays in Rogers she is fouled a free-kick awarded the delivery to the far post long over the runners. Gooderham is away after the ball into the left corner cuts inside in an attempt to get into the area Charlton doing well up against her wins it back. Play spread by Milton Keynes for Leah Cudone on the right wing, Devereaux back to support Abby Pope the pair prevent the cross.
GOAL! Milton Keynes get themselves back on level term with 23 minutes gone, the goal coming from a miscued ball at the back from Liverpool, Cudone intercepting the ball put across to Newman 25 yards out left of the D, time and space to line up a shot she hits it superbly, the ball flying in over the keeper kisses the underside of the crossbar on its way in 1-1.
Is an entertaining game that has certainly got the crowd buzzing a good atmosphere amongst the supporters. Liverpool push on Thompson with the ball makes ground on the left before firing an infield ball in towards Lee 25 yards out central, doesn’t get the connection with the ball she was looking for her low effort on target but lacking the power or pace to trouble Kirby. A free-kick for Liverpool inside the Milton Keynes half the ball played into the area the header seeing the ball knocked down to the right six yards out Rogers peeling away unmarked sets her sights meets it on the volley her attempt fired wide.
Bright brings the ball on from the back for Milton Keynes sends it out to Newman on the left wing takes it on before sending a low diagonal ball into Gough outside the box her shot charged down by Charlton Milton Keynes beginning to exert some pressure in the final third the ball left played inside Gooderham right, Abby Pope doing enough closing her down to prevent he taking the ball on drops for Newman, she too is quickly closed down, the ball popping out to Gough he shot well over from distance.
Seagraves brings the ball on right into Rogers closely marked by Naylor a clever back heel sends the ball on Seagraves after it cuts it back for Kinvig, she sends a cross from deep high into the box Lee in a central position six yards out gets her head on the ball, it loops up towards goal Kirby however can see it land on the roof of her net.
GOAL! Milton Keynes turn it around to take the lead in the 38th minute, the hosts winning a penalty as Naylor winning the ball in midfield plays in on for Gooderham getting in behind takes the ball on into the box left is closed down by Meghan Pope the goalkeeper saving at close range is grounded however as the ball bounces up for Gooderham about to take it on the sliding challenge comes in and the attacker is cleaned out the referee pointing to the spot. Captain Leanna Doyle to take, a good strike sending the keeper the wrong way to make it 2-1.
Rogers with the ball left in attack for Liverpool has Lee inside her, Mortimer has gotten ahead of them both inside the D, tries to set up Lee making a run t o get past her into the box, Vicky Holland wins the ball for Milton Keynes. Cudone with good work with the ball on the right comes inside lays it off for Hughes central her strike from outside the area over. Both sides press late in the first half with defences coming out on top, Holland intercepting for Milton Keynes, Kinvig closing down Newman as she threatens to get forwards.
Half-time Milton Keynes Dons Ladies 2-1 Liverpool Feds Women
A lively contest Liverpool with a fantastic start that gave them plenty of confidence, getting the lead their play deserved. It was the wake up call Milton Keynes needed after a slow start drawing level with a fantastic strike from Newman end the half leading 2-1. A lot of energy put into the game from Liverpool closing the ball down and positive in attack creating chances. Strong challenges starting to build as the half progressed Milton Keynes frustrated at times.
No changes for either side at half-time it’s Milton Keynes to get the 2nd half underway. The ball lost Liverpool get straight on the offence the ball with Devereaux on the left to the line she fires in a cross along the face of the six yard box the interception by Bright sees the ball cleared. Positive from both sides Liverpool counter Devereaux central laying the pass on for Lee she is marshalled wide left into the six yard box manages to get inside her marker take a shot the angle against her Kirby scooping it up at her near post.
Cudone winning the ball right plays it inside to Gough lifted up into the area James clears for Liverpool. Devereaux with the ball left side comes central a constant threat, Holland clearing her ball into the area for a throw in. Thompson combines with Rogers on the right as Liverpool build in attack the cross squared in low Lee waiting on the penalty spot doesn’t connect with her shot.
10 minutes gone in the 2nd half and Milton Keynes make the first change of the match with Kim Farrow coming on for Gooderham in attack. Liverpool pressing the ball high up the pitch won by Kinvig on for Rogers her cross into the area for Lee, cut out by Bright for a corner kick. A good delivery into the near post defended the ball headed on across goal runs out for a throw. Milton Keynes threaten to break Farrow with Newman on the left, Liverpool get the ball back to Meghan Pope. Newman attempts to thread the ball in behind for Farrow too much weight on the ball.
Rogers twists and turns with the ball getting into the box from the left looks to drill a ball in across goal, Kirby down the ball pops out of her gloves, the keeper pouncing on the ball before Liverpool can capitalise. An hour gone it’s Liverpool’s turn to make a change Rogers the player giving way on comes Emily Douglas. Seagraves on for Mortimer through the middle looks to release Lee, Bright can get across the attackers run shield the ball back to her keeper. Getting a little scrappy both sides pressing the ball now.
GOAL! Liverpool level the scores in the 64th minute… that’s about all I can tell you. Who scored? Liverpool put the ball in from the left into a crowed six yard box Kirby arms up to claim it the ball pops loose what follows it a goalmouth scramble, navy and white shirts all over the place the ball finds it’s way over the line, another own goal possibly, Liverpool don’t care they have the equaliser 2-2.
That’s reached the volume levels amongst the crowd, Liverpool with a good amount of travelling support. Milton Keynes get on the attack from the restart the ball left put into the box caught safely by Pope. Doyle is shown a yellow card as she concedes a free-kick. The game in danger of spilling over passion showing from both sets of players. Cudone with the ball has Newman and Mia with her getting the return pass on the right is upended by Seagraves wins the free-kick. Hughes over it long to the far post headed back into the middle Cudone first to it can’t keep her shot down.
A 2nd change for Milton Keynes, Newman giving way on comes Charley Wright with 20 minutes left on the clock. Liverpool have their tails up getting back on level terms still full of energy. Holland frustrated with a decision against her on the edge of the penalty area ends up in the referees book. Put on from the left the hosts head clear. Hughes central plays it wide to Wright on the left taking it on fires the pass into the area for Farrow, good control near post turns into a shot Pope saving well with her legs the ball spinning behind for a corner.
Liverpool make their 2nd change of the match Lee coming off, Laura Bartup her replacement into the final 15 minutes. Cudone in behind on the right wing on for Gough she plays the ball into the box is over Farrow central, Wright racing in behind can’t turn it goalwards. Liverpool counter the ball through the middle on for Bartup, Bright blocking her shot. Cudone coming into the middle 30 yards out Farrow ahead of her looking to make a run left to right across the D, Cudone picks her out no shot on sees Gough in space to her right sends the ball on Gough striking her shot over the crossbar.
Liverpool have maintained a good tempo throughout the match and sense the game is their’s for the taking push on Mortimer into Bartup she has a go from 30 yards out a deflection sending the ball behind for a corner on the right. Into the near post Kirby coming for it just about keeps hold of it. Charlton comes on with the ball for Liverpool finds Douglas on the right Kinvig has made a great run inside her forces her way into the box unleashes a shot Kirby diving pushes the ball wide at the near post.
Getting heated now into the final 5 minutes Liverpool are on the front foot late in the game, make a last change with Mollie Farley coming on for Seagraves. Farrow has made a difference since coming on for Milton Keynes seeing the ball into her feet turns and sends it on for Gough bursting into the area right the angle against her she blasts her riding shot into the side netting. Devereaux has a shot charged down for Liverpool the rebound inside box coming to Douglas to her right she slices it wide. Liverpool close the ball down high up the pitch frustrating their opponents.
Cudone is fouled wide right inside the Liverpool half, Milton Keynes making a change before it is taken, Sasha Newsome on for Naylor. The ball long into the area cleared by Liverpool. Alot of stoppage time played few chances created Mortimer with a high cross into the Milton Keynes area cleared by Holland, the final whistle goes and the semi-final goes into extra-time.
Full time Milton Keynes Dons Ladies 2-2 Liverpool Feds Women
Both sides have made 3 changes but the new rules introduced this season mean a 4th substitute is permitted in the extra half hour of play. Liverpool with a tremendous effort to take it this far finishing the game strong, Milton Keynes to get the 1st 15 minute period of extra play underway. The ball squared into Newcombe attacking centrally for Milton Keynes she is stopped by Kinvig top of the area for Liverpool.
A shot from the left from Liverpool races wide at the near post. Douglas with the ball wide on the right plays an inviting cross into the area, claimed well by Kirby with Bartup closing her down. A corner for the visitors on the left the ball delivered into the near post knocked down through the crowd, Kirby down smartly on her line to claim it.
GOAL! Liverpool take the lead on the 6th minute of extra-time, Mortimer linking up with Bartup through the middle bringing the ball on Mortimer playing it through into the box with Devereaux cutting inside from the left she hits it hard and low past the keeper into the bottom corner 2-3.
Cudone pressuring the ball on the right gets inside to get a shot away Pope with the easy save.
GOAL! A good response from Milton Keynes to falling behind find an immediate reply the ball won back in the middle play turned around Farrow running clear in the middle into the area can’t be caught closing in on the keeper slots the shot past her and into the back of the net 3-3.
Thompson fires a stinging shot into the Milton Keynes goal form 20 yards out the ball bouncing out of Kirby’s gloves her defence getting to it first. Cudone pressing right whips in a low ball missed by the defender six yards out onto Farrow quickly turns and shoots the ball wide. Bartup skims the top of the Milton Keynes crossbar with a long range strike. Liverpool with a 4th change, Helen Griffiths on for Abby Pope. Charlton doing well inside the area to shield the ball from Farrow the ball in from the right Pope down on it.
Half-time extra-time Milton Keynes Dons Ladies 3-3 Liverpool Feds Women
15 minutes left for one side or the other to find a winning goal or we will have a penalty shoot-out. Liverpool to get the game restarted. Cudone rushing in to claim a loose ball at the back, plays it on for Farrow a driving run is ended as Thompson gets back to defend. Players starting to go down with cramp alot of tired legs out there. Mortimer lets fly from distance Kirby dropping forwards to claim the ball.
GOAL! 5 minutes into the 2nd period of extra-time and Milton Keynes get themselves in front attacking down the left Wright with the cross in towards the near post a great height for Farrow gets up and twisting her neck powers her header across the face of goal to strike the inside of the far post and in for her 2nd of the game 4-3.
Devereaux wins Liverpool a corner the late goal sapping their strength the ball played into the congested six yard box Milton Keynes scramble it away. Devereaux has the legs to get forwards for Liverpool left she dives her cross/shot wide at the near post.
Newcombe fouls Bartup 20 yards out in a dangerous position central. Bartup on it goes for goal Kirby gloving her attempt up into the air manages to punch it away as she’s closed down a corner won, Cudone back to cut it out. Milton Keynes break the ball with Farrow, Bartup gets back to defend Gough onto the loose ball right her cross behind.
Full time extra-time Milton Keynes Dons Ladies 4-3 Liverpool Feds Women
Milton Keynes Dons Ladies win the game 4-3 in extra-time to reach their first ever National Final. Coming out on top in the finish in a hard fought contest the 2nd game in a week that has gone into extra-time, penalties not needed this time. Were on the back foot for large portions of the game, frustrated by their opponents conceding early never got on top of their opponents, Farrow’s goals proving the difference in the finish. A successful weekend all round for the club with their U16 RTC making it to their 1st ever final too the FA Youth Plate.
A tremendous effort from Liverpool Feds Women pushing Milton Keynes all the way to extra-time, worked hard throughout, the better side easily for large spells a good start a deserved lead, 2-1 down at the break were never out of it and getting back on level terms forced the game into extra-time just running out of steam towards the end. Backed by a buoyant and vocal travelling support they can be proud of how far they have come.
Will be an all Southern Premier Division Final too with Gillingham FC Ladies beating West Bromich Albion Women 1-0 in the other Plate semi-final.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
They don’t get any easier it’s another tough one this Sunday in trying to pick the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. 9 times out of 10 it will be a player from the winning side but occasionally you can’t ignore the notes, which is why today’s award goes to a Liverpool Feds player, Demi Devereaux, a constant threat throughout the game full of running, getting forwards to influence the attack, in what was a great team effort.
An enjoyable trip to the Stadium MK. Always nice to see another side for the first time an entertaining semi-final, Kept dry a bonus my thanks for Milton Keynes for their help with the team details and congratulations upon reaching the FAWNL Plate Final.