Dons beaten in five-goal thriller
AFC Wimbledon Ladies started their new era with a narrow defeat on Sunday at the hands of KIKK United.
Wimbledon left it too late in their efforts to snatch a draw, but the 3-2 loss at least offered promise that a new-look team will fare better next season.
With new manager Chris Lyons having overhauled the squad, it was a far different Dons ladies team from the one that ended 2013/14 by finishing rock-bottom of the London & South East Regional Women’s Premier Division.
minute when United captain Sophie Muller found the back of the net.thIt was a nervy start from both teams at the Mile End Sports Stadium in Poplar, but Wimbledon came close early on through Linsey Clark. However, the Dons fell behind in the 19
A spirited response followed from Wimbledon though and Georgia Heasman summed up their battling qualities. Heasman recovered from a challenge that left her needing lengthy treatment to strike the equaliser just before the half hour mark.
That’s the way it stayed until half-time and there was a blow for Wimbledon early in the second-half when Heasman had to go off injured and she was replaced by Kate Martin.
minute, but it was a controversial goal as referee Abdou Darwesh waved away appeals for offside.thUnited were back in front in the 54
With Wimbledon now behind, manager Lyons made changes to get his side back into it with Sian Fitzpatrick replacing Aramide Okekunle (pictured) and Jess Drage on for Toni Jones-Leach.
However, the Dons had a mountain to climb with 20 minutes to go when Muller notched her second to make it 3-1. Lyons made another change with 15 minutes left as Bianca Walker replaced Cindy Culliver and four minutes later the Dons were back in it when Rebecca Sargent scored with a deflected strike.
Dons goalscorer Heasman came back on in the latter stages to try and salvage a point, but Wimbledon just came up short in the end.
Jennie Ford, Toni Jones-Leach (Jess Drage), Linsey Clarke, Alyshia Clements, Cindy Culliver (Bianca Walker), Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins, Rebecca Sargent, Vicky Petrova, Cas Bisson, Georgia Heasman (Kate Martin), Aramide Okekunle (Sian Fitzpatrick). AFC Wimbledon Ladies: