AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Gillingham
by George Jones – AFC Wimbledon (9/1/23)
Above: AFC Wimbledon celebrate Ellie Dorey’s goal against Gillingham that sealed the Dons’ place in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Photo: Ian Stephen.
AFC Wimbledon progressed to the Fourth Round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on yesterday as they defeated Gillingham from the league above in style.
Another fantastic defensive display included some fine saves from Faye Baker, and a goal from Ellie Dorey secured a safe passage through, and yet another cup scalp of a tier three club – something that the South-West London tier four side has made a habit of over the past two seasons.
The Dons went into the game having not played in more than a month, with the weather playing havoc with their fixture list prior to the winter break. The extended gap between games showed in the early stages as the hosts struggled to get going in the torrential rain at Plough Lane.
Wimbledon keeper Baker was called into action after 25 minutes as she produced a stunning save to keep the scores level. Up the other end, Megan Stow tested the Gillingham keeper a few minutes later but in truth, it was a cagey first half overall.
Nevertheless, the game came alive in the second half as Ashlee Hincks got on the end of a fine ball from Dorey to force the Gills keeper into her first save of the half with 50 minutes on the clock.
Emma Plewa was introduced just south of the hour mark, which brought about a spell of domination from the Dons as we began to create more chances. This saw the home side take the lead thanks to a neat finish by Dorey from close range.
Rather than sit back and invite pressure a further attacking change was made as Gloria Siber was brought on to ensure we stayed on the front foot. A powerful long-range effort from Hincks produced a fine save from the Gillingham keeper as the visitors kept the game alive. In the dying minutes, it was backs-against-the-wall stuff from the Dons but some fine defending ensured that Wimbledon booked their spot in Round Four and an exciting-looking London derby at home to Championship side Charlton Athletic, with the game scheduled to be played on Sunday 29 January.
More details for the fixture will be announced in due course. Before then, the Dons make a trip to Norwich City on Sunday 22nd January.
AFC Wimbledon: Baker, Russell, Brooks, Mann, Highman, Hincks, Megan Stow (Siber), Donovan, Bath (Plewa), Billingham, Dorey.