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Milton Keynes Dons lifted the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Cup for the third year in a row with a single goal victory over Maidenhead United at Thatcham Town FC.
In a repeat of the 2015 final, Dons edged past their opponents in an even encounter, this time in difficult conditions with heavy rain through the majority of the match. A late Andie Dickens header proved to be the decisive moment in this battle of FAWPL Division One South East and South West rivals.
Maidenhead were close to opening the scoring in the sixth minute as an Amy Saunders header from a free kick was deflected wide of goal. Dons keeper Emma Kirby made good save from a dangerous low cross from Sarah Reid as United opened brightly. The holders came more into the game midway through the half , going close on two occasions from inswinging corners from the right side, Claire Hollingsworth rising high to send the second delivery just over the bar.
Both teams defended well from open play in a tight first half . Maidenhead forced the first save after the restart when a close range shot was was well held by Kirby. Another dangerous corner nearly led to MK taking the lead but Vicky Holland headed over from close range on 69 minutes.
A right wing cross led to the winner on 80 minutes, Dickens timed her run to perfection to head back across keeper Ellie Parker and open the scoring . Maidenhead pushed forward in search of the equaliser and exerted considerable pressure on the Dons defence. As the match entered added time Maidenhead went agonisingly close to equalising . Good work down the left by Rachel Panting led to a half cleared cross which was met by the same player's first time effort on the run, the shot flying a foot beyond the far post with Kirby beaten.
MK Dons, having a fine season again in the league, were able to celebrate a hat trick of Senior Cup wins. Maidenhead United also took home some silverware from Finals day, their Development team winning the Berks and Bucks F A Trophy with a 2-1 victory over Barton Rovers in the first match of the day.
Photo - www.jamesprickett.co.uk
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