Ladies start with a good point on the road
The AFC Wimbledon Ladies development side showed that they could cope at a higher level on Sunday by earning a point in their first match in the Greater London Women’s Premier League.
Following a superb 2014/15 season that ended in promotion, the Dons had a tough opening day test at Hemel Hempstead, but it looked like they were going to pass with flying colours when Georgia Heasman put them 1-0 up. In the end, Wimbledon had to settle for a 1-1 draw that offers something to build on as they adjust to playing at a higher standard.
The Dons could have taken the lead early on when Diana Poveda put Hayley Clarke through on goal, but she missed the target. Hemel Hempstead also had good chances, but the finishing touch was lacking from both sides until Heasman’s intervention. After creating space for herself outside the area, Heasman managed to get a shot in from 23 yards out and a looping drive sailed over the Hemel goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
A spirited response from the hosts earned an equaliser before half-time and the Dons had to show character to stop Hemel taking a grip on the game. Wimbledon goalkeeper Ashleigh McGuigan had to produce a fine save to stop Hemel taking the lead shortly after the restart, but Hayley Clarke was denied at the other end for Wimbledon.
Yet again, the Dons came so close to a winner when Kate Martin beat two defenders and slid the ball under the goalkeeper, but the ball went just wide. Wimbledon started to tire in the last 15 minutes and the visitors were fortunate when Hemel struck the crossbar. However, Emily Bernard’s curler appeared to be heading for the top corner, before it was tipped over the bar by the home goalkeeper.
It had been a good opening day performance from the development side and next they travel to QPR hoping for a first win of the competitive season.