That's the message from victorious manager
AFC Wimbledon Ladies manager Chris Lyons said that winning the Surrey Women’s Cup is just the start of a big push in the right direction for his revitalised club.
Dons Ladies defeated Carshalton Athletic 3-1 after extra-time last night with goals from Caz Bisson, Sian Wylie and Linsey Clarke earning silverware for manager Chris Lyons and assistant Dave Ward in their first season at the helm.
The picture above shows (left to right) Sian, Caz and Linsey with the cup.
Winning a cup and a potential top-four finish is a remarkable turnaround for the ladies after they finished rock-bottom in London and South East Regional Women’s Premier Division last season.
Chris Lyons said: “We have to be constantly building, that is my philosophy. This season we have won silverware, but that is not the end of the job. It is the start for us. We have to strengthen again and if we don’t get promoted this season we have to build to do it next season.
“It is a big achievement for us when you consider that we had to rebuild the whole squad last summer. We are now unbeaten in all competitions since 26 October and we want 12 points from the last four games.
“It had been nearly 10 years without winning anything for the club and that is a long time. That created pressure and when you come through that it shows a lot of character.
“The team showed discipline to come back into it. We were a bit nervy in the first half, but we had a chat at half-time and told them to be brave and we managed to turn it around.
“Everyone at the club has been great, including coaches from the men’s teams. Mark Robinson was at last night’s game and provided good feedback. I also attended a first-team training session with Neal Ardley and the attention to detail is something I have brought into my own sessions.”
It did not look good for the Dons early on as Carshalton, currently second in the table and two places above Wimbledon, started the better. Spiteri hit the crossbar for Carshalton and the favourites held sway in the first half, without scoring.
Carshalton pressure paid off when Laura Curtis fired the opener, but the lead never lasted long as Wimbledon’s top scorer Caz Bisson restored parity. Bisson also struck the crossbar in a frantic finale, but both sides had to settle for extra-time.
It remained 1-1 until the second period of extra-time when Bisson set-up substitute Wylie and she made no mistake from close range. And the Dons sealed victory in style when Linsey Clarke smashed home a volley from 20 yards.
Caz Bisson was named player of the match.
AFC Wimbledon squad: Liane Tylee, Cindy Colliver, Lauren Carnell, Alysha Clements, Linsey Clarke, Jess Trimnell, Jordanne Hoesli Atkins, Sian Houghton-North, Bianca Walker, Caz Bisson, Emma Keady, Ellen M, Sian Wylie, Zoe Clifford, Ashleigh McGuigan, Fleur R.