Substitute Georgia Heasman put the icing on the cake to seal a place in the SSE Women’s FA Cup fourth round for AFC Wimbledon Ladies.
A 3-0 win against Hull City WFC of the FA WNL Northern Division, a level above the Dons, was achieved thanks to goals from Katie Stanley, Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins, and Heasman. It came just a day after AFC Wimbledon had also booked a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup by beating Fleetwood.
The away victory for the ladies secured a fourth round tie at home to Women’s Super League team Bristol City on Sunday 3 February.
Manager Chris Lyons said: “We knew we had a very good chance and wouldn’t need to make any vast changes to how we played to get a result. We just needed to be better at certain things, and that’s pretty much what we spoke about at half time. I thought we were stronger and sharper in the second half, and looked the dominant side. Our starting eleven did a very good job of matching and containing Hull, and our substitutes had an impact at the right times in the game.”.
With the reward of a potential big game in the 4th round, as the the top teams enter the competition for the first time, the match against Hull City started fairly evenly. The Dons had done their homework and were not afraid of the team playing at a higher level. Captain Caz Bisson worked hard covering the whole length of the pitch, ably partnered up front by Jenny Nagle and Stanley. Edie Kelly, the penalty-saving hero of the first round, was playing bravely. Honours were even at half-time with the score sheet bare.
The second half was certainly livelier, the first chance falling to Hull as they hit the post. Wimbledon’s first substitute Rebecca Sargent came on 15 minutes after the re-start and immediately made a difference in midfield. Three minutes later and Stanley scored a scrappy goal, snatching the half-cleared chance and poking it back towards goal while falling to the ground. The manner of the goal mattered little, as it gave Wimbledon something to build on.
Hull attempted to get back into the game and Wimbledon were forced into stout defending. One clearance made its way upfield, where Stanley sliced her chance for a second. However, Hoesli-Atkins made no mistake with a beautiful shot buried into the top corner. Hull didn’t seem to be able to work out what to do and appeared dispirited. With 20 minutes to go, the Dons decided that the best form of defence was attack and Nagle almost made it three with an effort against the woodwork. With 10 minutes remaining, Heasman replaced the tiring Nagle. Hull seemed to wake up, but it was too little, too late. They were pressing up with only the keeper in their half when she lost control of the ball. Heasman was lurking near the half-way line and she was quick to pounce, running forward and holding off the keeper’s desperate attempts to catch her, before walking in the third.
Chris Lyons added: “We travelled up on the Saturday, and the team spirit at all times was superb. I couldn’t have asked for any more from the players over the weekend, they were professional in everything they did. When we started this FA Cup run, we spoke about wanting a WSL side at home and the draw has given us that. We’re now in the last 32 of the SSE Women’s FA Cup, and looking forward to hosting Bristol City WFC.”
The 4th round tie against Women’s Super League team Bristol City will be played on Sunday 03 February at Carshalton Athletic, Colston Avenue, SM5 2PW. Kick-off time is to be confirmed, but it’s likely to be a 1.00 pm. Support on the day would be very much appreciated from Dons fans, as the ladies aim to pull of another cup shock.
Follow the Dons Ladies on Twitter @afcw_ladies, Instagram @afcwladies and Facebook @AFCWimbledonLadies
AFC Wimbledon Ladies starting line-up: Edie Kelly, Becky Mclaren-Johnson, Rosie Russell, Jenny Nagle, Caroline Bisson, Hannah Baptiste, Sarah Wentworth, Katie Stanley, Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins, Kelly Highman, Hannah Billingham.
Subs: Megan Kowalski, Linsey Clarke, Rebecca Sargent, Georgia Heasman, Sian Wylie.