AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Norwich City
by George Jones – AFC Wimbledon (2/5/23)
Above: Norwich City head clear under pressure in the first half on Sunday. Photo: Richard Brown.
Emma Plewa’s first-half goal was enough for AFC Wimbledon to end an impressive season with victory at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
A crowd of 1,138 watched Kevin Foster’s side defeat Norwich City – which meant the Dons extended an unbeaten league run that stretched back to August.
Following the narrow Capital Cup Final defeat at the hands of an Arsenal Academy side that fielded some players with WSL experience in midweek, the Dons started on the front foot but were unable to capitalise on earning a succession of corners.
Norwich grew into the game and started to frustate Wimbledon. Several dangerous balls were played across the box, but no-one in a yellow and green shirt was able to connect.
However, the Dons were always the more composed in their play, and the breakthrough came 10 minutes before the break. A clinical finish by Emma Plewa put the Dons 1-0 up after Chloe Sampson’s relentless pressing had created the opening.
The Dons continued to have the lion’s share of possession after half-time but struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities. There was an emotional moment 20 minutes from time as Emily Oliver came on for her final appearance in a Dons shirt before heading to America to pursue scholarship opportunities.
Further pressure from AFC Wimbledon failed to yield the cushion of a second goal, but the final whistle signalled yet another victory for the Dons. who finished as runners-up in the league after another excellent campaign.
After the game, Ashlee Hincks was confirmed as winning the Golden Boot for the second successive season despite missing eight weeks of the season through injury. The end-of-season awards held later in the day saw Rosie Russell rewarded for her consistently sensational performances by being named Young Player of the Year, and captain Hannah Billingham as player of the year.
Elsewhere, Faye Baker almost won the FAWNL Division One SE Golden Glove once again. There is plenty of talent in the Wimbledon ranks, and hopes will be high that they go one better next time around.
Teams: AFC WIMBLEDON: Baker, Russell (Oliver), Brooks, Highman, Billingham, Ali (Heria), Donovan, Dorey (Taylor), Plewa, Hincks, Sampson (Chitole-Porter).
Scorer: Plewa 35′.
NORWICH CITY: Williams, Parker, Larkins, Todd, Daviss, Snelling, Russell, Stanley, Flye, Croft, Morran. Substitutes: Ward, George, Symonds, Gambell, Cook.