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Milton Keynes Dons held on to the Berks & Bucks F A Cup with a very solid team display to defeat Maidenhead United by two first half goals at Abingdon United FC's Northcote Road.
The wind had abated somewhat from the earlier Trophy final which made playing conditions a bit easier and both teams contributed to a good quality match between two teams having excellent League seasons.
MK Dons, challenging for the FA Premier League Division One South East title, got off to the best possible start with a goal in the third minute. A long run down the left by Hannah Barrett was halted close to goal, but the ball fell to Charly Wright who lofted a good strike beyond Magpies keeper Ellie Parker. Barrett nearly added a second with a shot inches wide then a Lauren Goodier corner was headed just over by Claire Hollingsworth.
Maidenhead were unlucky not to equalise on 26 minutes when Lucy Smith beat Dons keeper Emma Kirby from 20 yards but the ball struck the underside of the bar and rebounded clear.
Goodier set up the second goal on 37 minutes, breaking clear on the right and crossing for Chloe Smith whose shot hit the post but fell kindly for Heather McDonnell who finished powerfully.
Maidenhead had a penalty claim turned down and Hannah Summers went close as they tried to get back into the match but Dons went to the break two to the good.
The Southern Regional League runaway leaders returned with good pace and tempo to press their opponents back after the break. Kirby was forced into a good diving save from an Olivia Buzaglo cross and another smart stop at her near post when Smith broke clear of the MK defence.
However, the Dons defence generally remained solid and there were few other alarms. Goodier nearly added a third for the holders but was denied by a good Parker save as was sub Elena Lancaster late on and MK Dons were able to lift the Berks & Bucks Cup for the second time.
Milton Keynes Dons: Emma Kirby, Claire Hollingsworth, Kara Howes, Emily Ingle, Louise Naylor, Heather McDonnell, Chloe Smith, Charly Wright, Hannah Barrett, Lauren Goodier, Kelly Bingham. Subs: Leah Cudone, Elena Lancaster, Andie Dickens, Charly Clarke, Sophie Watson.
Maidenhead Utd: Ellie Parker, Chelsea Goulter, Hannah Summers, Alex Dover, Louise Ekins, Tina Brett, Olivia Buzaglo, Katherine Peters, Amy Saunders, Lucy Smith, Zoe Clifford. Subs: Becy Collins, Natasha Thompson, Sinead Thompson, Sarah Lipscombe, Ellen Thomas.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Charly Wright holds off Alex Dover
(middle) Olivia Buzaglo is challenged from behind by Chloe Smith
(bottom) A jubilant MK Dons celebrate with the trophy
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