Manager Kevin Foster praised AFC Wimbledon Ladies for an ‘excellent’ performance in defeat as they pushed Ipswich Town Women all the way yesterday.
Taking on a side currently top of the FA Women’s Premier League South was always going to be a tough task, but the Dons more than held their own in a 2-0 defeat in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
“Our girls were excellent - they worked extremely hard for each other,” said Foster. “We set up to make it hard for Ipswich and if you spoke to them they would say we gave them a real game. It would have been nice to get one at the end, but we had a goal ruled out and we missed a couple of chances, but all credit to the girls because they did not stop today.”
Without centre-backs Sarah Wentworth and Rebecca Sargent, the Dons fell behind in the 17th minute when a ball was crossed into the box and Natasha Thomas headed home. With Mark Robinson watching on, Wimbledon really made a game of it in the second-half after reverting back to a 4-3-3 formation. Katie Stanley came so close to equalising, but she was just unable to get a touch to a cross by Ashlee Hincks. However, the crucial second goal followed for Ipswich when Thomas notched her second of the game.
Despite that setback, the Dons kept searching for a way back into the game and a goal back was ruled out after the referee concluded that there had been a push in the box. A long-range Ashlee Hincks free-kick also flashed inches past the post with 10 minutes to go and appeals for a penalty were waved away after Gloria Siber went down in the box. A late consolation turned out to be elusive as Angel Fowler’s header skimmed the top of the bar, but AFC Wimbledon Ladies bowed out of the competition after giving everything against a higher level team.
AFC Wimbledon Ladies: Faye Baker, Angel Fowler, Rosie Russell, Steph Mann, Kelly Highman, Hannah Billingham, Emily Oliver, Megan Stow, Ashlee Hincks, Katie Stanley (Gloria Siber), Rebecca Carter (Chloe Sampson).
Pic credit: Glyn Roberts