The Tractor Girls make it 9 wins in a row after beating MK Dons 2-0. Keeping their hopes of winning the league still alive thanks to Goals from Natasha Thomas and Abbie Lafaytte that proved enough to overcome the host.
The Dons went into the game looking to get at least a point vs a top side within the league, and Dons manager Charlie Bill made several changes that caught Ipswich off guard in the first half. Dons knew that they had to be compact vs a well organised Ipswich side. Gemma Biggadike found herself playing in the back as the Dons went to a back 5 to stop Ipswich’s plethora of attacking options.
Ipswich started the game slowly from the off, Dons normal high pressing game wasn’t implemented, and the Dons allowed the visitors much of the early possession. This took Ipswich by surprised. Keeping organised was the main message, the Dons knew if they could keep the game 0-0, pressure on the Ipswich side would start to mount and chances could be had.
But the Dons stubborn resistance was broken in the 11th minute, after the ball cannoning off the cross bar the ball was lose in the penalty area. The Dons defenders tried to get across to see the ball out, but Natasha Thomas using her strength was able to get above her marking defender and head the ball into the back of the net, Sansom in goal tried to dive across but dived in vain, as the ball hit the post and went into the back of the net. 0-1
In the past we have seen that when one of the top sides, such as Oxford and Watford have played the Dons more goals were to be followed very quickly once they have conceded, but credit to Charlie Bill side and the Dons defence this didn’t happen. As much as it was an early setback, the Dons still had the belief that they could still get a chance and score.
After regrouping well from the early goal, the Dons found themselves 2-0 down in the 17th minute. Kerry Newman found herself out of position in a one on one and tried to recover, but missed timed her tackle and the ref pointed to the spot. Abbie Lafayette stepped up and fired her shot into the back of the net. Sansom dived the right way but was unable to stop the shot as it fired passed her. 0-2
As the first half ended, the Dons had a chance to make it 2-1. Zoe Barratt looked to race in behind of the Tractor Girls back line, but Quantrill was fast off her line to intercept the ball and stop the former Ipswich winger having a shot. 0-2 HT
The second half didn’t have too much to offer in terms of major chances. Ipswich took control of the game and were able to see out most of the second half in relative ease. But credit should be given to the Dons, as they were able to work hard vs a very organised professional side. Yes, it might not have been the result Charlie Bill side was hoping for. But the Second half performance showed a lot of fight and character. The Dons compared to last season are only 19 points off the top, whereas last season they finished 40points behind. The league is getting harder, and the Dons this season has found themselves in a position knowing things can only get better.
Ipswich managed to see out the rest of the game and take back home all 3 points. The results sees them now joint level with Watford on 47 points, the game between the two sides on the 7th of May could be one of the games of the season. As the league title goes down to the wire.
MK Dons: Sansom (C), Warren, Puddick, Biggadike, Rush, Miles, Barratt, Giddings (Wilson, 80), Coupar (McLean, 86), Mitchell (Gould, 80), Newman (Nixon, 52)
Subs – Nixon, Gould, McLean, Samules, Wilson
Ipswich Town: Quantrill, Boswell, Wearing, Lafayette, Hughes, Robertson, King (C), Grey, Peskett, Brasero-Carreira, Thomas
Subs – Meollo, Mitchell, Horwood, O’Brien, Godfrey
Goals – Thomas 11, – Lafayette 17, –
Attendance – 450
Images: Christopher Foxwell – For more information please visit www.ctfphotography.co.uk/photography