It was the magnificent seven for our ladies on Sunday's big Wimbledon return.
In a performance worthy of the occasion - the Vitality Women's FA Cup tie was the first match back in Wimbledon for our ladies - a crowd of 1,405 fans set a new record attendance for AFC Wimbledon Ladies. Mark Robinson was among those watching from the West Stand on a proud day for everyone connected with the club.
The Dons triumphed 7-1, the goals haul including a magnificent hat-trick from Ashlee Hincks against a Walton Casuals team that included former Dons players. Seven for Wimbledon meant a total of 28 goals in the last five games, which also included a 4-0 win against Norwich, 5-2 versus QPR, and 9-1 against Stevenage.
The Dons faced a disrupted build-up to the game with the squad hit by a COVID outbreak after the 4-0 away win at Norwich, meaning the Dons had only been able to train once in the last two weeks ahead of the match at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
The disrupted preparations certainly didn't hold the ladies back as it was 1-0 inside four minutes, thanks to Kelly Highman's clinical finish from close-range. With 20 minutes on the clock the advantage was doubled through a magnificent solo goal from Rebecca Carter, who finished a run from the halfway line with a superb lob over the Walton keeper. With half an hour gone it was 3-0 when Hincks scored from the penalty spot to open her account. As the game headed towards half-time, Walton Casuals got a deserved goal after a scramble inside the penalty area.
With a 3-1 half-time deficit to make up, Casuals started the second half strongly, but it was the Dons that extended the advantage through a magnificent team goal. Hincks and Rosie Russell combined superbly to set-up Megan Stow, who gave the move the finish it deserved. With the crowd getting behind the Dons and an incredible atmosphere building, our ladies caught Walton on the break and Rebecca Carter notched her second to move the Dons into a 5-1 lead. With 12 minutes to go, Ashlee Hincks scored from a ridiculously tight angle to further extend the lead, and she completed her hat-trick after scoring from close range to bring the final score to 7-1.
This end to end game was high on entertainment value for the 1,405 fans in attendance, and AFC Wimbledon Ladies thank all of those who turned up to cheer on the team in the first game at their new home.
Player of the Match: Ashlee Hincks
Team: Lauren Allen, Rosie Russell, Kelly Highman, Sarah Wentworth, Hannah Billingham, Angel Fowler (Emily Oliver 54), Steph Man, Megan Stow, Emily Donovan (Jessica Lewry 76), Ashlee Hincks, Rebecca Carter (Charlotte Flood 79).
Unused subs: Rebecca Sargent, Lauren Pickett, Remmi Gardner, Olivia Clement.
Match action pic credit: Glyn Roberts.