In-form pair Caroline Bisson and Jenny Nagle helped AFC Wimbledon Ladies to another important cup victory on Sunday.
Following hot-on-the-heels of a win in the SSE Women’s Cup, the Dons edged out Cambridge United 2-1 in the FA Women’s National League Cup third round with goals from Bisson and Nagle (pictured right and left above).
Manager Chris Lyons said: “It was a tough game, and pretty much how we expected it to be. Cambridge are a decent, physical team, and they did well to stop our rhythm. But credit to us, I thought we matched up to them well and we were worthy of the win. The players responded well again, and despite not playing the attractive football we’re known for, we did enough to see us into the next round.”
Wimbledon came into the match seeking to go one better than a draw on the opening day of the season. At times, it was a physical game, but the Dons stayed in control with a disciplined performance.
The game started with both teams trying to assert their authority, but from a Dons perspective Bisson, Nagle and Georgia Heasman worked well together up front. At times, it seemed that the team was being tested more than last week when they played against higher level opposition with Chanell Yardley definitely busier in goal. Sarah Wentworth had a good game in defence.
The Dons started to impose themselves and took charge. Heading towards half-time, the teams looked set to go in all-square, but the opening goal followed in the 40th minute. A trip on Rosie Russell provided a free-kick opportunity and Hannah Billingham’s impressive delivery found Nagle, who headed home well. Just two minutes later and it was 2-0. Bisson, on yet another run down the right, cut in towards the keeper and struck from an acute angle.
The second half was more physical as Cambridge chased the game. More chances came the way of Nagle, as she pressed the defence repeatedly. Heasman produced some mazy runs down the left. Reserve team member Bernice Tully came on for Sian Wylie, providing support in midfield. Bisson was replaced by the fresh legs of Katie Stanley. Five minutes later and Cambridge finally scored from a corner after the Dons failed to deal with the cross into the box. A minor disagreement in the goal mouth saw Yardley booked before the re-start. Cambridge applied pressure to get the draw, but Yardley produced a couple of excellent saves, and Megan Kowalski covered well in defence on her first start, and Highman tackled as strongly as ever.
At least five tense minutes were added by the referee, but Wimbledon stayed in control to earn a 2-1 victory that earned a place in the quarter finals of the FA WNL League Cup. It also extended an impressive unbeaten run for Wimbledon, stretching back to September.
AFC Wimbledon Ladies: Chanell Yardley, Megan Kowalski, Rosie Russell, Jenny Nagle, Caroline Bisson, Hannah Baptiste, Sarah Wentworth, Georgia Heasman, Sian Wylie, Kelly Highman, Hannah Billingham. Subs: Linsey Clarke, Katie Stanley, Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins, Bernice Tully, Edie Kelly.
The Ladies return to the league this Sunday with another home game against Actonians. The match will be at Carshalton Athletic, Colston Ave, SM5 2PW (Kick off 2pm). Follow the Dons Ladies on Twitter @afcw_ladies, Instagram @afcwladies and Facebook @AFCWimbledonLadies.