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Chertsey Town 0 AFC Wimbledon Development 3
AFC Wimbledon Ladies Development recorded a fine 3-0 away win in the FA Women's Cup First Round Qualifying over Chertsey Town.
In the best traditions of the cup, this was a genuine upset against a team operating in a higher league than the young Dons who compete in the Surrey County League. The margin of defeat was harsh on the hosts who contributed fully to a thoroughly entertaining and well contested encounter but Wimbledon had the cutting edge in front of goal which made all the difference, two very late Chloe Greer goals making the result far more decisive.
Chertsey Town, who have made a fine start in the London & South East Regional League Division One (London) with two wins, looked dangerous on both wings in the first twenty minutes but despite a couple of corners and passes across the area, the Wimbledon defence held firm. At the other end, Greer was very lively sending a dangerous early cross from the left without anyone being to turn the ball home. Home keeper Natascha Salgado distinguished herself with a fine reflex parry from a close range effort after a corner and a prolonged scramble ended with a Chertsey clearance. Salgado was soon busy again, racing from her line to smother a ball she had half stopped. On 39 minutes Toni Jones-Leach was inches wide after outpacing the defence but eventually the spell of dominance was rewarded.
Jones-Leach was again heavily involved. Finding space in the area, she fired in a low shot from which Salgado made another full length diving save. This time however, Emily Bernard was the quickest to the loose ball and scored from a very tight angle on 43 minutes for a deserved half time lead for Wimbledon.
Chertsey needed to step up their game and they did exactly that for a sustained barrage of the Wimbledon goal. Snapping into tackles and playing at a much higher tempo using the wings very well, Chertsey tested the resolve of the young Dons back four. All the defenders stood up very strongly with centre back Hannah Wergeland outstanding in her anticipation and choice of pass. Ruth Nicholson, who was very effective on the Chertsey left, could not keep a close range effort below the bar, whilst Wimbledon's Josie Clarkson cleared a header from a Vicky McGuire corner off the line. The best chance for a Chertsey equaliser on 54 minutes was denied by an excellent double save from Ashleigh McGuigan, racing from her line to block an initial Molly Small shot at point blank range and reacting quickly to scramble the rebound clear.
Nicholson had a free kick curl just beyond the far post from wide right on the hour, then Allie Gilbert volleyed over the Wimbledon bar from another McGuire corner as Chertsey continued to press for the leveller. A rash of substitutions and injuries disrupted the flow and it was AFC's changes which worked the better. The pace and powerful runs of Grace Henry gave the visitors the chance to hold the ball up in the opposition half and recreate the danger to Chertsey of the first half.
AFC Wimbledon hit the jackpot with two Greer goals on 87 and 89 minutes. The first was a close range effort after excellent work on the left by Jones-Leach, the second was a 25-yard effort which flew in over a stranded keeper.
Both teams played in a constructive manner, trying to manoeuvre the opposition with intelligent passing and good movement to create an exciting spectacle. The first foul did not arrive till the 27th minute and, even though the contest grew increasingly urgent in front of a vocal and supportive crowd, both teams continued to play the right way.
Chertsey Town: Natascha Salgado, Sophie Hadman, Chyna Wilson, Charis Levett, Allie Gilbert, Alysha Clements, Ellie Teverson, Georgia Blanchard, Ruth Nicholson, Katie Booth, Vicky McGuire. Subs: Adrienne Blanchard, Lisa Tily, Lauren Tily, Molly Small.
AFC Wimbledon Ladies Development: Ashleigh McGuigan, Jodie Waller, Chloe Greer, Josie Clarkson, Emily Bernard, Sophie Gorman, Ella Harding, Toni Jones-Leach, Charlotte Borg, Hannah Wergeland, Carina Hanson. Subs: Grace Henry, Henriette Johannessen, Chloe Kenton.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Chloe Greer holds off the attentions of Charis Levett
(middle) Emily Bernard is challenged by Katie Booth
(bottom) Toni Jones-Leach takes on Charis Levett
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