AFC Wimbledon 7-1 Walton Casuals
Words and Pictures By Ben Gilby
AFC Wimbledon ran out comfortable winners against a hard working Walton Casuals side in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup Third Qualifying Round tie.
It was a history making afternoon as the Dons Women played their first match at the new Plough Lane stadium (see photo at top of page by Ben Gilby) in front of a vocal crowd of over 1,500.
AFC Wimbledon played their confident passing style from the start, aided by the outstanding surface. Within two minutes they were ahead thanks to a goal from Kelly Highman.
The South London side were dominant, but Casuals were defending with a high line which caught the hosts offside at regular intervals. With seventeen minutes played, Megan Stow played in Ashlee Hincks, who had a hugely influential afternoon, but the finish went over the bar.
The chances continued to come three minutes from the break:
Just five minutes later though, Wimbledon doubled their lead. Rebecca Carter showed searing pace to break through the midfield before advancing into the area to confidently slot home.
With a little over half hour on the clock, Dons went 3-0 up when referee Lucy Clark saw a handball in the box, and Hincks stepped up to smash the spot kick home.
Walton Casuals finished the half with a flurry of opportunities. First, with 35 minutes gone when Brooke Garcia’s thumping drive went narrowly over, and then just before the break Jodie Barker got a goal back for the Surrey side.
The second half took a while to get into its groove. Rosie Russell was looking impressive for the Dons down the right. Emily Oliver had the first real chance of the second 45 when her effort went narrowly wide of the far post.
Walton had a chance when a free kick went narrowly wide:
The game was effectively over as a contest on 64 minutes when Stow crashed home the hosts’ fourth.
Carter secured her brace on 71 minutes for 5-1 with Hincks then getting her second with a wonderful finish seven minutes later.
Hincks completed her hat-trick with five minutes left from close range after Walton sub keeper Chloe Donellan parried an effort into her path.
The final whistle was greeted by delight from the massed crowd who stayed around for some time after the final whistle to acclaim the Dons.