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Ashford Town (Middx) 0 Milton Keynes Dons 6
Milton Keynes Dons, of the FAWPL South East Division One, negotiated a potentially tricky SSE Women's FA Cup First Round hurdle away to Ashford Town (Middx) in some style with a 6-0 win.
Dawn Mallett notched the first four with clinical finishing to settle the tie inside the first hour but the prolific Greater London league Division One hosts, at times making light of the three tier gap between the clubs, had created good chances of the their own and worried the MK defence on several occasions.
The Tangerines' Ashley Cheatley, with 32 goals from 8 matches this season, showed her threat on three minutes, forcing a fine save from Savannah Smith at her feet. MK took the lead on eight minutes when Mallett tapped in after 'keeper Lauren Restel dropped a cross. Cheatley nearly equalised on 16 minutes, beating two defenders before driving a shot inches wide. Lavana Neufville played Cheatley in on goal two minutes later but Smith, quick off her line, made another crucial save with her feet.
Mallett was equally dangerous at the other end, twice going close before doubling the lead on 29 minutes when free on the left edge of the area. Abbie Roberts created another Milton Keynes chance with a fine run and cross on 35 minutes but Heather McDonnell fired over.
Cheatley turned provider with another clever run and pass for Neufville to fire a shot against the bar just before the break as Ashford continued to threaten on the counter. Holly Isaacs hit the post for Ashford on the restart but was ruled offside and Dons then took over. Mallett extended the lead on 53 minutes for the hat-trick and added a fourth with a near post header from a corner on the hour.
Despite the best efforts of the home side, MK Dons continued to play with skill and confidence now the outcome was settled. Alice Hughes added a fifth after another right side corner on 75 minutes and sub Amelia Hazard took advantage of a defensive slip to drive home the sixth with five minutes remaining.
Despite the severity of the final outcome, Ashford, in the First Round for the first time after three high scoring victories, impressed with the fluency of their attacking play to encourage the healthy crowd but Milton Keynes Dons were very solid after a nervy start and showed their quality to claim a decisive win and a home tie against Cardiff City Ladies in the Second Round.
Ashford Town (Middx):
Lauren Restel, Beth Sheehan, Vicky James, Nicole Jacobs, Lavanna Neufville, Holly Isaacs, Laura Huse, Hannah Pearson, Charmaine Benham, Ashley Cheatley, Charlotte Baker. Subs: Claire Samuels, Maddie Bone, Lauren Richardson, Jess Boyd, Rebecca Fisher.
Milton Keynes Dons:
Savannah Smith, Leanna Doyle, Charly Clarke, Mollie Burgess, Vicky Holland, Alice Hughes, Dawn Mallett, Heather McDonnell, Louise Naylor, Abbie Roberts, Laura Mills. Subs: Sam Gillings, Amelia Hazard, Anna Loftus, Sasha Newsome, Charly Wright.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Ashley Cheatley is challenged by Vicky Holland
(middle) Lavanna Neufville battles for the ball with Heather McDonnell
(bottom) Mollie Burgess slides in to tackle Ashley Cheatley
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