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Luton rise to the occasion
 Women's Football News 30 Sep 2016
Luton rise to the occasion - 30 Sep 2016 - Women's Football NewsLuton Town 2 Milton Keynes Dons 1
Luton Town made the most of their annual visit to Kenilworth Road with a hard fought 2-1 win over Milton Keynes Dons in front of a crowd of 332. 
The hosts had to dig deep to overcome a first half deficit and hold on under intense pressure at times as both teams gave a performance worthy of the setting.
MK started the better and it was the visitors who took the lead when Leah Cudone was played in on goal and a defender seemed to get the final touch as the ball curled in past keeper Jess Devoti on 20 minutes.
The equaliser around half hour was a superb effort by Jess McKay. MK keeper Savannah Smith seemed to have cleared effectively with her feet from a Luton attack, sending the ball high to the right touchline, 40 yards from goal. McKay controlled perfectly with one touch then instantly aimed the ball over the retreating keeper and into the net.
Joanne Rutherford set up the decisive goal early in the second half, winning a corner with a powerful run down the right then delivering the set piece for Nicola Henman to turn the ball over the line in a scramble. the goal being awarded after the referee consulted with an assistant.
MK poured forward in search of an equaliser and came very close on several occasions. Charley Clarke hit the bar from distance, Heather McDonnell had a free kick pushed onto the underside of the bar by Devoti on 65 minutes, then Hannah Barrett was inches away from converting a Wright cross on the far post.
Having weathered the storm, Luton saw out the game with great determination and commitment. McKay hit the outside of the post from a narrow angle and the hosts went close to making the game safe on several occasions whilst defending very soundly in the final ten minutes.
Luton rose to third place in the FAWPL Division One South East table with this win whilst Milton Keynes Dons remain in sixth place.
Luton Town: Jess Devoti, Rachel Kosky, Lucy Webster, Jess McKay, Rachel Carter, Mollie Robinson, Nicola Henman, Michelle Byrne, Zara Carroll, Dionne Manning, Joanne Rutherford. Subs: Shannon Pratt, Rebecca Wilson-Kane, Erica Byron, Rachel Evans, Jodie Southby.

Milton Keynes Dons: Savannah Smith, Kara Hawes, Sammy Gillings, Leanne Doyle, Vicky Holland, Charley Clarke, Heather McDonnell, Sasha Newsome, Leah Cudone, Charly Wright, Hannah Barrett. Subs: Emma Kirby, Kerry Newman, Nicola Brooks, Sophie Watson, Louise Naylor.

(Report by Patrick Higgins)

Photo - Charley Clarke tackles Zara Carroll (www.jamesprickett.co.uk).



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