AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Billericay Town
by George Jones – AFC Wimbledon (28/11/22)
Above: AFC Wimbledon players congratulate Faye Baker on her penalty save yesterday. Photo: Emily Topping.
AFC Wimbledon upset the odds to march into the third round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
Goals by Ashlee Hincks and Emily Donovan helped the Dons to a 2-0 victory against a Billericay Town side flying high in the division above them in the league pyramid.
However, that only told half the story as Kevin Foster’s side required Faye Baker to make a fine penalty save at 1-0 that stopped the women from Essex mounting a comeback.
Missing several first-teamers including Ellie Dorey, Gloria Siber, and new signing Ella Newman, who was cup-tied, Wimbledon belied those pre-match setbacks to take the lead after 13 minutes. Ashlee Hincks got on the end of a wonderful pass from Megan Stow to lob the Billericay keeper Baker from 25 yards – making it 18 goals in 11 games.
That sparked a spirited response from the visitors and Faye Baker was forced into several fine saves, before she seemingly handed them a way back into the game by bringing down a Billericay forward and a penalty was awarded. However, there was immediate redemption as the Dons custodian pulled off a fine save from Jess King’s spot-kick, with the follow-up from the same player going over the bar.
The second-half followed much the same pattern with the hosts showing true Wimbledon spirit to ensure Billericay were limited in what chances they were able to create. The first clear-cut chance of the second half for the Dons fell to Emily Donovan, who wasn’t able to finish off a fine move.
Billericay were able to create some chances of their own and Kelly Highman produced a fine block to keep them out, before Faye Baker produced a number of good saves to defy the visitors. In the last seconds of injury time the Dons broke away and Emily Donovan got a goal she very much deserved to seal an incredible win for Wimbledon.
Reflecting on his team’s win, AFC Wimbledon head coach Kevin Foster said: “The players, staff, coaches, physio team, and everyone involved deserves a lot of credit for this week. It has not been an easy week. We have had a couple of knocks, a couple of bruises, and a couple of people missing. We’ve had to work things differently and fair play to the players who knuckled down and got on with it, putting in what can only be described as a real team performance.”
Teams: AFC WIMBLEDON: F. Baker, Russell, Brooks, Highman, Billingham, Mann, Taylor, Donovan, Stow, Hincks. Substitutes: Allen, Sampson, Fowler, Lockett.
Scorers: Hincks 13′, Donovan 90+4′.
BILLERICAY TOWN: A.Baker, Jeffkins, Jones, Lumley, Blackie, Turner, Rushen, Lancaster, Mclean, King, Gerkey. Substitutes: Morton, Doo, O’Shea, Sealey, Stratton, Kenly, Armstrong-Morris.