Tag Archives: AFC Wimbledon Ladies

Match Report – AFC Wimbledon Ladies v Bristol City WFC

Sunday 3rd February

FA Women’s Cup

Longest journey of the season to date this Sunday a road trip south the watch the FA Women’s Cup 4th Round match between AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Bristol City WFC.

  35 places and 3 leagues between the sides the biggest gap of all 16 ties in this Sunday’s FA Women’s Cup reaching the 4th Round stage where the big guns from the FAWSL & Championship enter the competition. AFC Wimbledon Ladies one of three FAWNL Division One sides to reach the 4th Round along side South East counter parts and league leaders Crawley Wasps Ladies and Keynsham Town Ladies 2nd in the South West league.

  AFC Wimbledon Ladies currently 6th in what is a hotly contested top half battle in South East Division One are relishing & excited for the what they know will be a tough test at home against a side from the top tier of women’s football. Have made history already reaching the 4th Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup beating higher league side Hull City Ladies from the FAWNL Northern Premier Division 3-0 away from home. Showing good form in the cup competitions are also through to the last 8 of the FAWNL Cup. This there sixth game in their historic cup run

 As Bristol Academy, Bristol City WFC were one of the founding members of the FAWSL and have seen the league undergo many changes in it’s relatively short history. The latest being the top tier of the women’s game going fully professional. Tanya Oxtoby’s side comfortably established in 5th position in the 11 side league. Has been a while since I’ve seen any FAWSL football, the clubs closer to home keeping me busy but have always had a soft spot for Bristol enjoyed many trips down to their Stoke Gifford Stadium home in the past. The standard has increased year on year and an intrigued to see how much it has risen.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies played their home matches at Carshalton Athletic FC. A 3G playing surface soon I guessed it would fair better with the previous few days inclement weather. A good size the stadium tucked away in a residential area. A large terraced stand along one side of the pitch another seated stand opposite a bar and large clubhouse, hot and cold refreshments a tidy layout with a decent sized crowd building. The weather quite good actually bright and sunny after a cold start blue skies.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies starting XI – Edie Kelly, Rosie Russell, Sian Kylie, Kelly Highman, Hannah Billingham, Becky Mclaren-Johnson, Jess Trimnell (C), Rebecca Sargent, Caroline Bisson, Georgia Heasman & Jenny Nagle. Subs – Megan Kowalski, Lindsey Clarke, Sarah Wentworth, Katie Stanley, Hannah Baptiste & Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins.

Bristol City WFC starting XI – Eartha Cummings, Gemma Evans, Heather Payne, Danique Kerkdijk, Julie Biesmans (C), Poppy Pattinson, Carla Humphrey, Poppy Wilson, Abi Harrison, Katie Robinson & Juliette Kemppi. Subs – Sophie Baggaley, Loren Dykes, Frankie Brown, Lucy Graham, Rosella Ayane & Jess Woodley.

Pre-match handshakes

It’s the visitors Bristol to get the game underway 1st half wearing red shirts and socks with white shorts, Wimbledon it their all blue kit, a bit of eager encroachment seeing the kick-off retaken.

  GOAL! The quickest goal of the weekend I suspect and certainly the quickest recorded in a match report on Women’s Football East. Bristol playing the ball out to the right back position the diagonal ball is long probing to the left Abi Harrison, Bristol’s latest signing making her first start picking the ball up into her run as she ghosts in behind into the area shapes to shot sending a low driven shot across the keeper and into the goal beyond, her 1st goal for Bristol, 12 seconds played 0-1.

Bristol City WFC’s Abi Harrison

Certainly not the start you want as the underdogs, a blow so early in the game no time to implement a game plan the visitors able to settle early a goal to the good. Wimbledon look to play the ball long for Caroline Bisson on the right hand side straight from the restart, Poppy Pattinson can see it safely out for Bristol. The visitors quick to counter the ball with Pattinson left side on for Poppy Wilson making a run forwards into the left channel, Kelly Highman getting across her run to see it out of play safely for Wimbledon. 

  Bristol on the front foot right from the off make ground on the right the cross flashes into the area, Highman gets a boot on it knocks it out to the top of the area comes straight to Wilson she connects with it sweetly the ball clattering off the post right back into Wilson path no time to control can only put the follow up over the bar. Bristol finding room on the flanks pushing Wimbledon back Carla Humphrey with the ball it her moves right before sending a cross into the box, Sian Wylie clears inside her six yard box for Wimbledon the ball picked up by Wilson 20 yards out her shot back in straight at Wimbledon goalkeeper Edie Kelly.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies, Sian Wylie

  Most of the play inside the Wimbledon half, Bristol invited to come on Wilson combining with Humphrey in the middle the pass out to Katie Robinson breaking down the right, her attempt to cut inside stopped by Wimbledon full back Rosie Russell. A melee in the box ends up with goalkeeper Kelly down needing treatment, Humphrey’s cross from the right initially cleared by Highman, falls to Wilson can’t quite getting over the bouncing ball to  smash a clean shot in Wimbledon get it away.

  Bristol overload the right as they attack the ball squared inside across the top of the area helped on comes to Wilson her low shot driven in low held by Kelly. A rearguard action from Wimbledon early on standing off Bristol inviting pressure the FAWSL team able to let their full backs get forwards, captain Julie Biesmans and Danique Kerkdijk at the back able to pick their passes often the only themselves along with goalkeeper Eartha Cummings in their half. Another ball into the area from the right side, Kelly goes to ground as Juliette Kemppi closes her down the pair come together the keeper manages to hold onto the ball, as Highman gets around to cover behind. Kelly needs treatment but is okay to continue. 

Bristol City WFC captain, Julie Biesmans

  Bristol will be used to a high tempo game the ball squeezed decision making often forced a different story at the moment players looking up deciding what option to take willing runners left and right, Humphrey coming for the ball moving into gaps Wilson able to push on through the middle, Jenny Nagle leading the line for Wimbledon has little to feed on and is pushed back into her own half much of the time. Billingham jumps well inside the box to get her head on it and clear for Wimbledon as Robinson puts a ball in from the right. Kemppi fouled outside the box right of goal, Biesmans over the free-kick goes for goal her attempt still rising as it goes over.

   GOAL! 23 minutes played and Bristol’s dominant start to the game brings them a second goal, Harrison and Pattinson linking up on the left wing Pattinson running in behind with the ball fires a vicious ball across the face of the Wimbledon goal Katie Robinson arriving far post half a yard on her marker to smash the ball into the back of the net and make it 0-2.

Katie Robinson on the attack for Bristol City WFC

Gemma Evans with the ball at the back decides to go on a forwards run cutting inside on halfway laying the pass into Pattinson, her run forwards halted by Wimbledon’s Becky Mclaren-Johnson. A corner for Bristol right side taken short up the line the cross/shot driven in Kelly with an excellent fingertip save to take the ball up over the bar for a 2nd corner. Hannah Billingham heading clear for Wimbledon. Humphrey has the ball at her feet right of goal all of 30 yards out strikes it well her shot whistling wide across goal. 

AFC Wimbledon Ladies, Rebecca Sargent

  Bristol’s good start has silenced the crowd but there is a passion clear amongst those gathered and when they see their side getting stuck in they’re ready to will them on, Nagle putting the tackle in on half way to win the ball Rebecca Sargent looking to burst through with it stopped by Evans. Mclaren-Johnson winning the ball back as she is pushed onto her defence. 

  GOAL! Bristol get a 3rd goal their central midfielders combining Humphrey sending a great diagonal ball on for Wilson making a run towards the top of the box, beats two defenders effortlessly to get herself clear into the box, left of goal sends her shot racing across the keeper to nestle inside the side netting 0-3.

Poppy Wilson driving forwards with the ball for Bristol City WFC

   Wimbledon haven’t had much of the ball let alone in their opponents half Georgia Heasman trying to get forwards on the right but as quick as the Bristol full backs are to join the attack their wide players are back to help in defence. Bristol come left Harrison with the cross into the area for Kemppi looks to get turned for a shot Billingham in to close her down. Wimbledon captain Jess Trimnell plays the ball on for Nagle, Bisson in close support the crowd willing them on run into traffic the game open for a moment Bristol play it forwards Highman in to win the tackle. The biggest cheer of the day goes up when the referee takes a tumble.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies, Jenny Nagle

  Late into the 1st half a rare attack for Wimbledon Nagle out to Heasman on the left Russell on the overlap gets forwards down the line but Bristol prevent the cross as the referee blows for half-time. 

Half-time AFC Wimbledon Ladies 0-3 Bristol City WFC

  As easy a first half as Bristol have ever played, have had the majority of the ball and that in the opponents half. Taking such an early lead settled any nerves they might have had have been able to get forwards at will since, rarely threatened in attack, created numerous chances and taking a goal lead into half-time. Wimbledon haven’t had a single shot at goal even created a chance, have defended deep stood off thier opponents, very unusual as they are usually a high pressing in your face side who are at their best on the offensive. The early goal no doubt not in he game plan but will need to do something be more positive in the 2nd half if they wish to get anything out of the tie. A big ask at 3-0 down. 


  A change at half-time for Bristol, Robinson picking up an injury replaced by Rosella Ayane. Wimbledon with a positive intent straight from the start kicking-off the ball forwards with Heasman, on to Nagle looks to hold it up is tackled. Mclaren-Johnson nipping in to win the ball back, Trimnell too. Give away a free-kick right the ball played in high his claimed well by Kelly. Wylie clearing a Bristol corner. Wimbledon get the ball forwards win a throw right side put into Trimnell who takes the shot on from distance plenty of power behind it Cummings can see it wide of her goal. 

AFC Wimbledon Ladies captain Jess Trimnell after Bristol’s Poppy Wilson

  Wilson with the ball out to Harrison running on left side her ball into the box picked up by Kemppi right of goal, Highman sliding in to take it away from the attacker before she can get a shot away. A more open game 2nd half Bristol still have more of the ball but Wimbledon quicker to close it down get players in support of Nagle. Mclaren-Johnson very proactive in the middle Sargent looking to get forwards. Bristol come right Heather Payne getting forwards in support of Kemppi the pass back to the full back the cross in towards Humphrey getting into a central position stoops into the header her looped ball on target but caught by Kelly. 

 Wimbledon make a change Nagle coming off up top to be replaced by Katie Stanley with an hour played. If Wimbledon do manage to get away on either flank the run is short lived Bristol have pace in abundance and put it to good use to recover the ball. Kemppi this time back to tackle and put the ball out for a throw. Stanley is tackled in the final 3rd Bristol counter quickly the ball left the cross in long gathered by Harrison right side looks to tie up Humphrey central connects well her shot arrowing in just swerving away from the top corner. 

Bristol’s Carla Humphrey leaping clear of the tackle

  Bristol make their 2nd change, Pattinson coming off on comes Scottish international Frankie Brown. Harrison puts the ball on for Wilson central she pushes on, Mclaren-Johnson in to tackle and win the ball well outside the box. Heasman comes off for Wimbledon on in her place Megan Kowalski. Bristol remain strong are still holding a high line getting down the flanks crosses left the right dealt with by the Wimbledon centre-backs. Bristol not afraid to go direct either when the opportunity presents itself breaking up a Wimbledon move outside their box the ball played up into Harrison on half-way controls well turning plays a great pass on for Humphrey breaking on in behind only a good starting position from Kelly denies her a chance as the keeper claims on the top of her area. 

  Bristol come on the cross low into the area Kemppi right of goal tries to bring it down and turn into the shot Highman sliding in makes the block, the rebound comes to Ayane her shot from outside the box blocked by Wylie as Bristol push bodies forwards. Stanley does well inside the Bristol half to win the ball support from Kowalski in front of the centre circle, her pass long finds Bisson running in clear on the right, Cummings has had little to do but is alert going to ground on the edge of the area to get something on the ball play however is halted by a raised flag.

Less than 10 minutes left a change for both sides, Hannah Baptiste coming on for Wimbledon replacing Trimnell. Jess Woodley on for Bristol replacing Harrison. Kelly with another fine finger tip save turning the ball up over her crossbar as a Bristol shot is driven in from distance. The corner right side a good delivery no one attacking it far post. Wimbledon mount an attack Bisson a threat on the right if she can get forwards a great ball fired into the six yard box Russell furthest forwards tries to get there, Kerkdijk getting in front of her clearing the danger for Bristol.

Bristol City WFC defender, Danique Kerkdijk

Woodley sees the ball into the back of the net for Bristol off a corner on the left, won;t count however as the officials flag is raised. Kelly sees a poor kick out land straight at Kemppi’s feet left of the area she takes a touch to get it out of her feet drags her shot wide of goal.

  Wimbledon with a throw right side comes on into the top of the Bristol area finds Kowalski she lays it back to Mclaren-Johnson her ball back in cut out spins to Stanley right of the D, her first time shot is dragged wide of the target. Bristol finish the game strong, mounting an attack the ball into Kemppi tackled by Highman then Billingham slides in to charge a shot down from Wilson. 

Full time AFC Wimbledon Ladies 0-3 Bristol City WFC

  A goalless 2nd period a much improved performance from Wimbledon, the damage down in the first half, Bristol able to sit off in the 2nd half with a 3 goal lead. Played well dominated without really being tested at the back, weren’t pressed when on the ball, case of choosing the right options and that was made easier by good movement and use of space in front of them. Training full time have the edge when it comes to fitness good on the recovery when needed.

  Wimbledon’s fine FA Women’s Cup campaign comes to an end, not how they would have wanted a great achievement getting this far in the competition history made, should make you hungry for more. The early goal certainly playing a part, hold out for the first 10/15 minutes the confidence grows you start to ask questions and with their passionate supporters ready to will them on…  

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time for today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. Edie Kelly with some fine saves and Becky Mclaren-Johnson two stand out performers for Wimbledon this afternoon. Bristol were dominant for much of the game playing the game inside their opponents half. It’s a straight shoot-out between their central midfielders, Poppy Wilson making some great forwards runs joining the attack and getting in behind when Wimbledon were looking to keep it tight through the middle took her goal well. Carla Humphrey edging it however, finding some great space moving right with a useful range of passing, getting into some great attacking positions unlucky not to score herself is today’s Player of the Match.

Been awhile since I’ve travelled south of the Thames for a game, enjoyed it though even if the trip out of London wasn’t fun, halfway home decamped at a hotel to get the report written tonight. The Draw for the 5th Round to be make live on TV tomorrow evening, several ties postponed this weekend. Nice to see Wimbledon at home at last, a nice venue, a tasty bacon bap and a much needed cup of tea. My thanks for the clubs help with the teams today.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v AFC Wimbledon Ladies

Sunday 13th January

FAWNL South East Division One

The football action this Sunday on Women’s Football East from the FA Women’s National League, Cambridge United WFC v AFC Wimbledon Ladies in South East Division One.

The two promoted sides Crawley Wasps Ladies and Billericay Town Ladies getting off to a blistering start, to lead the way Billericay with 5 straight wins to start life at the higher level, Crawley Wasps have yet to drop a point 9 wins from 9 whilst continuing on in the cup competitions. A 5 point lead at the top for Crawley over 2nd placed Billericay, a further 4 point gap to the chasing pack where it is very tight just 3 points separating 3rd to 7th.

Cambridge United WFC would dearly love to be amongst that mid-table cluster but instead find themselves looking nervously over their shoulders 3rd from bottom, they are in need of the league points. Have played less matches than everyone else in the league, largely due to involvement in various cup competitions that have actually seen them play just 3 league matches since the end of September, that coupled with postponements and the sides around them getting games in and picking up points pushing them down the table now into 2019 league points are the priority. Win those games and they are back amongst the mid-table battle.

AFC Wimbledon are the side leading the chasing pack in South East Division One currently in 3rd spot. Finished runners-up in the league last season, leading for the majority before Milton Keynes Dons Ladies winning their games in hand eventually overhauled them to win the title. A slower start this time around, it has been the nature of the league this season that any team getting a run together can propel themselves up the table. Wimbledon doing just that at to climb up to 3rd.

Are enjoying success in both the FAWNL Cup and FA Women’s Cup. Beating higher league sides to progress in the FA Women’s Cup, Southern Premier Division side, Portsmouth FC Women in the 2nd Round and just last Sunday a 3-0 away win against Hull City Ladies of the Northern Premier to reach the 4th Round of the competition for the 1st time in their history where they have been drawn at home to FAWSL side Bristol City Women.

Wimbledon are also into the quarter finals of the FAWNL Cup beating today’s opponents Cambridge United WFC at home 2-1 to advance. The two sides sharing a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season.

Mildenhall Town FC, Cambridge United WFC’s home ground. A sloping pitch from one goalmouth to the other as I’ve mentioned before. A wide pitch plenty of space to exploit. Another gloomy day cloudy, a light drizzle in the air prior to kick-off. The bar open, hot drinks and food available.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Savannah Smith, Abigail Davies, Holly Northfield, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Jemma Moore, Amy Howlett, Vicky Neal, Jade Bell, Becky Shephard, Kelley Blanchflower (C) & Mollie Coupar. Subs – Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett & Charlotte Crisp.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies starting XI – Edie Kelly, Rosie Russell, Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins, Sarah Wentworth, Hannah Billingham, Kelly Highman, Becky Mclaren-Johnson, Rebecca Sargent, Georgia Heasman, Katie Stanley & Caroline Bisson (C) Subs – Linsey Clarke, Sian Wylie, Megan Kowalski, Jenny Nagle & Hannah Baptiste.

It’s Cambridge to get the 1st half underway attacking up the slope wearing amber coloured shirts with black shorts and socks Wimbledon lined up opposite all in blue. The visitors quick to press the ball from the start won in midfield played back to Sarah Wentworth the central defender sending it long, striker and captain Caroline Bisson spinning in behind, goalkeeper Savannah Smith out to the ball early kicking it clear for Cambridge.

Wimbledon busy in the opening minutes of the game pressing looking to move the ball quickly and spread play, Rebecca Sargent putting herself about in midfield, sets up the first opportunity winning the ball in the middle spreading play out to the left wing Katie Stanley coming inside bringing the ball down shapes to shoot 30 yards out the attempt looping up into the air drops wide of the Cambridge goal.

Cambridge struggling to get anything going in the final 3rd in the early stages win a throw high on the right, captain Kelley Blanchflower with a driving run with the ball into the box, Hannah Billingham clearing the ball for the visitors. Wimbledon have Cambridge penned in their own half Sargent with some powerful runs supported by Becky Mclaren-Johnson and Kelly Highman, the ball fed into the left channel, Kayleigh-Anne Burt coming across to defend put the ball out for a throw.

Wimbledon come again building from the ball the defence on the halfway line the pass into Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins left side she attempts a through ball to unleash Bisson, well intercepted by Jemma Moore in the centre of the Cambridge defence. Wimbledon win a corner on the right side the delivery in towards the near post headed on across the area by Billingham looping down at the far post Wentworth stretching for it can’t direct her effort on target behind for a goalkick.

Is developing into a scrappy battle in midfield both sides press the ball pinging back and forth it suddenly squeezes through in behind Bisson latching onto it slides into a shot before Burt can close her down 20 yards out the ball is knocked up and whistles past the top right corner. All Wimbledon have Cambridge pushed back a free-kick won wide right Billingham over the ball a great effort fired in bounces through the six yard box no one able to provide a telling touch.

Billingham is hurt moment later looking to seeing the ball out for a throw Mollie Coupar pressing her for Cambridge sliding in the resulting tangle of legs seeing the Wimbledon defender clatter into the metal railings surrounding the pitch, a blow to the head that sees play stopped for a lengthy period as Billingham receives treatment that ultimately leaves her sporting a unfashionable blue head bandage, thankfully able to return to the action. Cambridge pressure the throw in the ball coming into the area, Edie Kelly taking it cleanly as Coupar closes her down.

Blanchflower has her hands full with Sargent restricting her attacking runs, picking up possession in a favourable position drives forwards sends the ball put to Jade Bell up on the left wing her cross long to Coupar at the far post getting up looks to header it down for Blanchflower the Wimbledon defence crowding her out.

Sargent strong in the challenge wins the ball nips in to get hold of the ball 25 yards out turning well central spaces opens up in front of her she goes for the shot catching the ball well fired over the crossbar. Frustration creeping in from both sides, Amy Howlett fouling Sargent. The free-kick 40 yards out ambitious from Billingham but she sends the ball in towards goal drops kindly for Smith to claim in her mid-riff.

Cambridge are conceding free-kicks the next alot closer to goal, Billingham on it once again 25 out right of the area, the shot narrowly over the crossbar. Another free-kick soon after central Bisson over this one Billingham the target far post the ball flighted in Cambridge manage to deal with the threat. Stanley with a good bit of control as the ball is played into her moving down the left her touch taking it in field 30 yard out turns well and shoots the ball wide of the right post.

GOAL! The visitors have dominated possession but against that it’s the hosts that take the lead. It is a well worked goal nevertheless, Blanchflower getting forwards a throw won high on the left the ball played up into the box dropping into Coupar, shielded by Billingham holds it up well pushed out to the top of the area turns well sending the pass into Blanchflower peeling clear into space inside the box wide right her squared ball across the face of goal, Bell rushing in Kelly blocking her initial effort, the ball skips up wide of the grounded keeper, Bell alert sending it on into the goal 1-0.

Wimbledon have had all the possession are straight back on the attack, Howlett isn’t making any friends with another foul on Sargent. The free-kick wide left, Bisson to delivery a great ball up to the far post Billingham forwards not put off heading the ball whatsoever a stooping header back across the top of the six yard box Sargent there central leaning back catches the ball agonisingly up over the crossbar.

Wimbledon press forwards right side Sargent with a good ball Bisson ready to spring in behind, closing in on the area, Moore sliding in makes a great tackle to take the ball away. Howlett is booked for persistent fouling. Wimbledon remain the sharper to the ball have Cambridge with their backs to the wall at time but despite that the young defence are standing firm. Coupar working hard up front pressing the ball presenting an opportunity on the right for Bell to put a cross in from the byline cut out at the near post.

Abigail Davies wins the ball for Cambridge right side on for Shephard a slight hestitation before putting the cross on allows Billingham the chance to put a foot in win the ball. Sargent plays the pass on for Heasman sending the ball on she releases Bisson in behind, closing in on the box, Moore shows great pace to get back on her make the challenge.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 1-0 AFC Wimbledon Ladies

Wimbledon have dominated the play in the first half, seeing the majority of the ball pushing Cambridge back, creating opportunities, could be leading themselves however at half-time they find themselves trailing 1-0. Cambridge have worked hard had their backs to the wall, their defence under pressure has coped well, getting up the other end a well worked move seeing them take the lead. An interesting 2nd half looms.

Cambridge’s Kelley Blanchflower with Wimbledon’s Rebecca Sargent

No changes for either side at the break the light starting to fade the floodlights are on Cambridge attacking down the slope 2nd half as Wimbledon get the game back underway. Cambridge with more intent inside the Wimbledon half right from the off, Neal adjudged to have fouled Highman on halfway. The home side launch an attack the ball flicked on by Neal to Blanchflower breaking forwards her ball down the right channel for Coupar to chase, Billingham across to stretch and cut it out for Wimbledon.

GOAL!  Cambridge’s bright start to the 2nd half sees them extend their lead have the ball on the left side building down the wing the ball played into Coupar head down she carries it on into the area before firing in a cross along the six yard box, Blanchflower timing her run perfectly ahead of the Wimbledon defence to smash the ball into the back of the net 2-0.

Sargent continues her work ethic in the middle for Wimbledon getting hold of the ball fires a pass up the right channel for Heasman getting forwards she cuts her low cross back towards the D, Stanley closing in on it can’t keep her shot down as she sends her 1st time effort over. Is a bruising encounter between two sides that give as good as they get, largely in good spirit…sort of…

Wimbledon’s Katie Stanley

A busy afternoon for the officials too Wimbledon with a free’kick wide right Bisson over it lifted into the area Billingham escapes her runner near side from close range wide of goal can only find the side netting. Cambridge frustrating their opponents now enjoying more of the ball, Coupar scrapping away up front bundled to the ground.

Mclaren-Johnson pressurising for Wimbledon central with the ball at her feet has support going forwards from Heasman, her cross squared to Stanley cutting inside from the left shoots 20 yards out, Smith diving to her left pushing the ball away from goal. 20 minutes gone in the 2nd period and Wimbledon make a change, Hannah Baptiste coming on for Highman. Cambridge with a throw left inside the Wimbledon half into Coupar 25 yards out a touch taking it inside before curling a shot over the bar.

An open game now a complete contrast to the first half Cambridge coming on more now competitve remains a scrappy affair Holly Northfield preventing a crossing opportunity on the right for Wimbledon. Russell up the other end across as Bell tries to put Coupar away. Wimbledon attack Billingham with a great forwards ball into the area controlled well by Bisson, Cambridge win in the ball sent long…

GOAL! With the game more open and Wimbledon committing more players forwards Cambridge capitalise to score a 3rd goal Coupar getting on the scoresheet after being involved in the hosts opening 2 goals. The ball played long up to her peeling away into the right channel ahead of Billingham, Wentworth comes across pushes Coupar wide right of goal as she enters the box the young striker strong on the ball gets a shot away from the angle firing the ball across the keeper and into the bottom corner 3-0.

Neal with a firm tackle to deny Wimbledon building an attack through the middle. Moore with good defensive work at the back as the visitors attack through the right. Coupar tries to burst on with the ball Sargent back to defend against her for Wimbledon. Wimbledon make a 2nd change Jenny Nagle on for Heasman on the right side. A free-kick wide right for the visitors Bisson with the ball up into the area eventually cleared by Burt. Nagle attacking right Northfield sliding in to prevent the cross the ball out for a throw.

Mollie Coupar holding the ball up for Cambridge United WFC

Both sides make a change, Emma Jenkins coming on for Blanchflower for Cambridge. Sian Wylie replacing Hoesli-Atkins for Wimbledon with a little over 15 minutes left on the clock. Wimbledon continue to attack looking to pull a goal back that pressure bringing a corner, Stanley to take it from the right a long delivery to the far post Cambridge winning the header a determination set in to keep a clean sheet.

Smith with a point blank save going to ground in front of Bisson as the striker gets onto the end of a diagonal ball inside the six yard box fired in from the right. Wimbledon pressure late on in the game pushing players on into the last 8 minutes. Cambridge make a 2nd change Carrie Bennett coming on replacing Coupar late on.

Bell doing some vital work in defence late on for the hosts doubling up with Northfield as Wimbledon look to double up on the full backs. Winning the ball tries to release Shephard up front, Wentworth regaining possession for Wimbledon. Moore tackles Stanley a throw deep in the right, the ball kept up top a swerving cross in under the crossbar taken high by Smith.

Little time left now, Wimbledon’s frustrations mount a decision going against them protests voiced results in Stanley and Mclaren-Johnson yellow carded for dissent. A late late corner for Wimbledon right side an inswinging delivery pushed down and away by the jumping Smith falling to Wylie the defended stretching for it sends it across to the far post, cleared Wimbledon appeal for a penalty, nothing doing the final whistle blown soon after.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 3-0 AFC Wimbledon Ladies

A terrific result for Cambridge and 3 valuable points won. Most definitely a game of two halves. Wimbledon dominating the 1st half playing the ball quickly, spreading play and pushing their opponents back, chances created but not scoring paid the price as Cambridge took the lead against the run of play. A different story 2nd half Cambridge battling to defend 1st half buoyed by their goal came out on the front foot 2nd half scoring early. Took their chances well, a competitive tussle, expected nothing less, just adds to the excitement in what is undoubtedly a competitve league, with alot of talented players. Any side can beat the other on their day. That’s why I love it so much.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

On to this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. A few performances worthy of note. Firstly for Wimbledon, Rebecca Sargent was a driving force in the midfield, putting herself about getting forwards too with some timely runs and good passing especially first half. For Cambridge, Jemma Moore the newest face to line-up in defence played well making some great and well timed tackles the back-line on the whole learning alot from today’s game. Jade Bell too using her experience to great advantage opening the scoring for Cambridge and vital in defence late on. Overall though today’s award goes to attacker Mollie Coupar put in a great shift up top for the hosts prepared to get stuck in a willing learner, good hold-up play involved in both the opening goals and great individual skill and strength to score the 3rd.

Another good advert for women’s football in the FAWNL, scrappy yes but played by two committed sides, a good watch. My thanks to everyone for their help today always appreciated.

Match Report – Milton Keynes Dons Ladies v AFC Wimbledon Ladies

Sunday 25th March

 The football action this Sunday afternoon on Women’s Football East comes from FAWPL South East Division One a big game too, with league leaders AFC Wimbledon Ladies travelling to take on 4th placed Milton Keynes Dons Ladies.

 This is my first look at AFC Wimbledon Ladies since they were promoted to the FAWPL two season’s ago. Had a strong debut season playing in South East Division One finishing in 3rd position. Building on that have had a very strong second season at this level leading the table by a massive 16 points with 4 league matches to play. Are within touching distance of clinching the title. Getting their league games played whilst their closest rivals lost fixtures through postponements and cup runs have played more than else in the top half of the table losing just 2 of their 18 league games played so far. 


 Ipswich Town Ladies and Leyton Orient WFC were both in the title hunt for a good period but have both fallen away. Just one side left that can potentially catch the league leaders now, rivals Milton Keynes Dons Ladies in 4th place in the table have plenty of league games left to play 9 in total and should they claim maximum points in all of those matches they can catch AFC Wimbledon would need to overhaul a +32 goal difference too. 

  Milton Keynes Dons Ladies have been amongst the top sides in the league for a number of season’s finishing in the top 3 since the FAWPL took over the old South East Combination Leagues 4 season’s ago. One of the strongest sides in the league again this season a tall order to chase down AFC Wimbledon however well placed just 2 points behind 2nd placed Ipswich Town Ladies with 3 games in hand runner’s up spot is definitely there for the taking and with the upcoming changes to the women’s top tiers this summer league placed could yet be a crucial factor of deciding where a side may be come the start of next season. Ahead of the match Milton Keynes Dons Ladies have announced two signings to bolster the squad, striker Leah Cudone returning to the club after spells with Watford Ladies and Leicester City Ladies and Kim Farrow who joins from Luton Town Ladies.

Newport Pagnell FC the venue for today’s match the home ground for Milton Keynes Dons Ladies several training pitches around the main ground. A clubhouse and bar beside it. Two small seated stands on either side of the wide pitch. The weather pleasant and sunny for a change at the start of spring March ending far better than it started. A few clouds around but no rain forecast.

Milton Keynes Dons Ladies starting XI – Sophie Shults, Leanna Doyle (C), Louise Naylor, Sasha Newsome, Vicky Holland, Charley Clarke, Alice Hughes, Charly Wright, Anna Loftus, Heather McDonnell & Kim Farrow. Subs – Zoe Boote, Dawn Mallett, Leah Cudone, Laura Mills & Mollie Burgess.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies starting XI – Holly Wright, Sian Wylie, Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins, Jess Trimnell (C), Hannah Billingham, Becky Mclaren-Johnson, Rebecca Sargeant, Laura Quinn-Low, Katie Stanley, Jenny Banfield & Caroline Bisson. Subs – Abbie Measures, Hannah Searle, Kelly-Jade Whelan, Georgia Heasman & Sarah Wentworth.

A slightly delayed kick-off due to one of the officials arriving late it’s Milton Keynes all in white to get the 1st half underway with Wimbledon lined up opposite wearing an all dark blue kit with a splash of yellow. A fast start to the game Milton Keynes playing the ball out to their wide players testing Wimbledon down the flanks both sides moving in quickly to close the ball down little time is going to be afforded on the ball. Milton Keynes captain Leanna Doyle finds space on the right side picked out by Vicky Holland at the back going on her attempted cross is blocked by Wimbledon’s Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins.

Leanna Doyle, Milton Keynes captain

   Alice Hughes gets onto the ball centrally inside the Wimbledon half not a lot room tries the through ball for Heather McDonnell getting in behind, Wimbledon captain Jess Trimnell sticking her leg out to intercept the ball. Wimbledon break down the right wing Katie Stanley with help from Caroline Bisson a one two before Stanley looks to play the ball on into the area, Sasha Newsome getting onto the ball to cut out the pass for Milton Keynes. 

    Hoesli-Atkins comes forwards down the left to support Laura Quinn-Low linking up the pair get down into the corner the full back playing the ball into Quinn-Low who chests down well attempts to hook the ball over her shoulder into the area beyond, Milton Keynes can see the ball run out of play. A high tempo to start the match the opening 10 minutes have been busy neither sides has tested the opposing goalkeeper however a determination from both sides not to let either try with one time allowed on the ball the final pass isn’t finding it’s target.

  Newsome is there to intercept the ball at the back as Rebecca Sargeant through the middle tries to side the ball through for Quinn-Low looking to spring the offside trap coming inside. Doyle with the ball at her feet on the right goes forwards, both attackers, McDonnell and Kim Farrow making her Milton Keynes debut come across to support Doyle inside to McDonnell top of the area right side on for Farrow her fierce ball into towards goal cut out by Wimbledon comes back out to Doyle sends a looping ball back in towards goal a difficult one for Wimbledon goalkeeper Holly Wright to deal with back on her line keeps her eye in the ball scooping it out of the air and claims the bouncing ball before anyone can pounce.

    A free-kick for Wimbledon on half-way players go forwards from the back the ball delivered in towards the top of the area, Milton Keynes don’t get it cleared Hoesli-Atkins running onto the ball sends a high ball back into the area. Newsome under it heads the ball behind to concede the 1st corner of the match, an inswinging delivery Milton Keynes win and clear the ball threaten to break the ball played up to the attackers, McDonnell looking to get away in behind as Farrow opens up her body to slide the pass into her run, the Wimbledon defence quick to shut the door on her. 

AFC Wimbledon’s Jenny Banfield

The centre backs for both sides aren’t giving anything away as both sides try their luck through the middle, Becky Mclaren-Johnson on for Jenny Banfield, Caroline Bisson making the forward run getting into the box, Newsome goes with her and regains possession of the ball. Play turned around quickly Wimbledon breaking up a Milton Keynes attack the ball played long with Bisson looking to get in behind, Newsome 20 yards out gets a glancing header on the ball not enough to prevent it reaching the area, Bisson lively after it, Louise Naylor across on the cover from full-back defends well to get the ball back to her goalkeeper, Sophie Shults.

Milton Keynes, Louise Naylor

A corner for Wimbledon on the right a good delivery from Sian Wylie coming in near post, Shults not getting hold of the ball inside her six yard box, Newsome there behind her to hook the ball high out of the area. Charley Clarke winning the ball for Milton Keynes on for Hughes, Farrow ahead of her 25 yards out, very congested through the middle no way through, Hanna Billingham winning the tackle for Wimbledon the counter attack bringing a corner, a cluster of Wimbledon players gathered at the top of the area the delivery in towards them Milton Keynes with the knock down, Stanley onto the ball 25 yards out sends a low ball racing in towards goal, Shults back on her line can gather safely.

  Trimnell with the long ball out from defence picks out Stanley on the move down the right wing Naylor goes with her a slight deflection from the defender as she attempts to stop the cross the ball into the side netting, from the resulting corner on the right the ball comes to Trimnell positioned at the top of the area good head work to get the ball in on goal, Newsome once again with the interception to head the ball away from her goal. 

AFC Wimbledon’s Laura Quinn-Low

  A break in play as Wimbledon’s Sargeant is clattered into. A chance for everyone to rest no let up in the tempo the game has a derby feel to it. The midfielder is okay to continue play resuming Milton Keynes get forwards on the right, Farrow on the ball running on McDonnell in an offside position catches the Wimbledon defence static as Farrow goes on herself in behind top of the area fires her strike over the bar. 

  Loftus is shoved over in a dangerous position outside the Wimbledon area as she brings the ball inside from the right, Charly Wright on the set-piece 25 yards out, goes for goal getting the high ball up towards goal dips late but not enough to creep under the crossbar over Wright scrambling across her goal. Quinn-Low with Hoesli-Atkins get the ball down into the left corner. Mclaren-Johnson coming across to receive the ball her cross into the area cut out by Holland. Wimbledon win a corner right side the ball played into towards the top of the area Quinn-Low with the header this time can’t direct on target. 

Milton Keynes, Charly Wright sees her effort drop over the crossbar

Charley Clarke is booked as she brings Quinn-Low down in the centre circle. The free-kick delivered into the six yard box, Bisson right on top of the goalkeeper who manages to knock the ball down to the floor, Naylor with the instinctive clearance sending the ball over her own goal. Pinball at times such is the time anyone is being given on the ball, scrappy at times neither side letting the other settle as the referee brings the opening half to a close.

Half-time Milton Keynes Dons Ladies 0-0 AFC Wimbledon Ladies

   A fast pace to the first half plenty of quality players on show however no-one has been afforded any time play squeezed passes rushed and not finding their mark, few chances created and neither goalkeeper with a definitive save to make. 

Wimbledon make a change at half-time Sargeant who has been on the receiving end of a couple of knocks in the 1st half replaced by Hannah Searle in midfield. Right from the off the temp of the game resumes Clarke in to win the ball off Banfield. Billingham slides in to intercept as Farrow looks to get in behind. Wylie clearing the ball inside the area as Milton Keynes play the cross in from the right. 

Wimbledon with a throw-in deep on the right, the ball lost Milton Keynes launch a rapid counter attack the ball played up to McDonnell midway inside the Wimbledon half good hold-up play allowing teammates to get forwards Hughes central given the ball helps it on for Loftus breaking away into the right channel into the area under pressure from the Wimbledon defence fires her shot over the crossbar. 

GOAL! The stalemate is broken early in the 2nd half another rapid counter attack from Milton Keynes the ball played out to McDonnell wide left deeper this time players are drawn across as support arrives the cross whipped into the area, Farrow with the run gets her head on the ball 8 yards out and sends it past the keeper to score on her debut 1-0.

Milton Keynes, Kim Farrow

Milton Keynes look to press the advantage get bodies forwards Clarke through the middle plays the ball over the top for Farrow inside the area the ball spinning as it lands takes it away from the attacker allowing the advancing Wright to get her gloves firmly around the ball. Changes for both sides Kelly-Jade Whelan on for Quinn-Low, McDonnell comes off for Milton Keynes Leah Cudone coming on. 

  A corner for Milton Keynes on the left side a good delivery from Wright the ball whipped in across the six yard box, Newsome with a glancing header the ball out the opposite side another corner signalled Wright goes across to the right the ball coming in to the six yard box once again headed down blocked on the line a scramble before Wright lays claim to the ball. Naylor gets her body in the way to block as Wylie gets forwards to cross for Wimbledon. 

AFC Wimbledon captain, Jess Trimnell slides in to tackle, Milton Keynes Charly Wright

   Stanley with the ball on the left for Wimbledon fired in across the top of the area good control from Banfield back to goal pushes the ball out to Searle before drifting right to receive the return pass gets a shot away from 20 yards out Shults is well placed inside her six yard box to gather cleanly. Loftus comes off for Milton Keynes, with Dawn Mallett coming on. Shults comes out to the edge of her area to slide in and claim the ball as Bisson tries to get past Holland.

Hannah Searle after the ball for AFC Wimbledon

   The high tempo to the match is seeing a few tired legs out there a little bit of space starting to show. Milton Keynes make their final change, Laura Mills coming on in attack to replace Farrow. Cudone is caught offside as Mallett intercepts a Wimbledon goalkick. An extra injection of pace for Milton Keynes with the introduction of Mills getting the ball at her feet on the right to the byline her cross cut back into the six yard box Cudone running onto it puts her head into the path of the ball, straight into the gloves of Wright. 

  Another break in play due to injury a painful one for Mclaren-Johnson this time her ankle feeling the full force. The referee issuing a final warning to Clarke. 20 minutes left in the match Mclaren-Johnson strapped up is able to continue. Bisson moves to the right to receive the ball support from Wylie getting forwards down the right wing her cross in headed out of the area comes back to Bisson, hits a lofted ball back in towards goal over hits the stantion behind the goal. A final change for Wimbledon, Georgia Heasman coming on to replace Banfield.

AFC Wimbledon’s, Becky Mclaren-Johnson

 A corner right side for Milton Keynes, Wright to play the ball in towards the top of the area, Newsome deeper this time looks to get onto the ball, Clarke is there too ends up tackling her own player. A shot from Wimbledon from outside the box is cut out immediately protests are made for handball the calls ignored by the officials. Pressing late on in the match Wimbledon are far from out of the game counter attacking down the right Stanley plays the pass into Whelan outside the area getting it back on the overlap fires the cross in towards the near post Bisson arriving puts her header narrowly wide of the post Wimbledon’s best chance of the match. 

AFC Wimbledon’s, Caroline Bisson

  Whelan in the middle again for Wimbledon on the ball out for Stanley on the left puts a high ball into the area towards the far post a difficult one for Shults to deal with does well to pluck the ball down before her defence scramble it away. Cudone is booked late on for kicking the ball away as Milton Keynes counter. With Wimbledon committing more forwards in the closing stages of the match they risk being hit on the counter, the ball long up to Cudone the striker leaps to head the ball on.

Leah Cudone heads the ball on for Milton Keynes

   Hughes sliding in wins the ball sending it on for Cudone her pass out to Mills on the right her cross into the box early, Wright does well to glove the ball away from Cudone racing in at her far post. The game moves into stoppage time. Heasman with support from Searle in the middle looks to release Bisson in behind top of the Milton Keynes area the flag going up against her. Wimbledon with the last attack Bisson finding space on the right help from Wylie a high ball in towards goal Shults deals with the difficult ball as the final whistle goes and Milton Keynes win the match 1-0.

Full time Milton Keynes Dons Ladies 1-0 AFC Wimbledon Ladies

   Plenty of energy expended in that match from both sides, played at a fast tempo throughout, time on the ball at a premium, little space to be found a committed contest which was only ever going to see a handful of goal scoring chances created. Milton Keynes getting the lead early in the 2nd half, battled to keep it and claim the 3 points. Move into 3 place in the league as a result a point behind Leyton Orient WFC  who beat Norwich City 4-1 this afternoon. 4 games in hand on the 2nd placed side however 5 on Wimbledon who maintain a healthy 14 point lead despite suffering there 3rd loss of the season. Still on course to win the title. Milton Keynes have alot of games to fit in between now and the end of the season come thick and fast now away to Stevenage Ladies on Wednesday evening.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   Alot of battling performances out there for both sides this afternoon, so once again it’s a difficult one choosing today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, for the 2nd game in a row however it goes to a player who has collected one before, Milton Keynes Sasha Newsome strong at the back, with some good interceptions and reading of the game, timing of her tackles and not giving the Wimbledon attack any opportunity to get in behind.

Nice to watch a game in the sunshine has been a long winter and hopefully April with bring more of the same. An entertaining match two committed sides on display who wanted to give nothing away. My thanks as always to both sides for helping me out with the teams.