Delight for Dons as they go top

Cambridge United 2-3 AFC Wimbledon

by George Jones – AFC Wimbledon (13/3/23)

Above: Emma Plewa poised for AFC Wimbledon at Cambridge United yesterday. Photo: Sophia Axelsson.

Ellie Dorey’s second-half winner lifted AFC Wimbledon to the top of the tier four FA Women’s National League Division One South-East table yesterday.

Kevin Foster’s side leapfrogged Hashtag United, whose game with Queen’s Park Rangers was postponed, into top spot with a 3-2 win at Cambridge United, despite missing several players with top scorer Ashlee Hincks joined on the injured list by Faye Baker and Billie Brooks.

The Dons utilised a makeshift back four in front of Lauren Allen with Hannah Billingham at centre-back and Chloe Sampson filling the left-back berth. After falling behind early on after the U’s made the most of a corner and Sarah Wiltshire netted, Wimbledon responded well with Becki Bath and Chloe Sampson both having efforts well saved. 

With 10 minutes left of the first half, Kelly Highman made it 1-1 when she got on the end of a cross by Ellie Dorey. And there was better to come before the break when a long-range strike by Becki Bath flew past home goalkeeper Lauren Webb to give Wimbledon the lead. However, in a frantic end to the half Cambridge levelled with a long-range effort of their own as Wiltshire grabbed her second of the game. 

The Dons were much improved in the second half and set about looking to create opportunities to take the lead. Though penalty appeals were turned down, it took less than 10 minutes for Wimbledon to retake the lead as Dorey got on the end of an Emma Plewa cross.

Wimbledon then set about closing out the win in a professional manner and that aim was achieved for a 3-2 win that took full advantage with Hashtag having their game postponed.

Reflecting on the game afterwards, Dons assistant coach Andy May said: “It was a game of two halves. To be fair to Cambridge, they had a really good game plan that took us 15 minutes to get to grips with. There was a real difference in the two halves, but in the second half, we controlled the game, dominating possession, and looking dangerous going forward.

AFC Wimbledon are at home this coming Sunday when they face Ashford Town (Middx) in the Capital Cup Semi-Final at Carshalton Athletic. The winner is due to face London Bees or Arsenal U21s in the final. 

Teams: CAMBRIDGE UNITED: Webb, Seymour, Kosky, Rouse, Jackson, Bennett, Otten, Edgar, Simpson, Wiltshire, Partridge. Substitutes: Marden, Davies, Naylor, Day.

Scorers: Wiltshire 7′, 45+3′.

AFC WIMBLEDON: Allen, Russell, Highman, Billingham, Sampson, Ali, Donovan, Bath, Plewa, Siber, Dorey. Substitutes: Baker, Wentworth, Oliver, Whelan.

Scorers: Highman 35′, Bath 45′, Dorey 53′.

Attendance: 35.

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