It was a game to remember for the return of Jamie Sherwood as manager of Yeovil Town Women.
It was a cagey affair for the opening 10 minutes as both teams could only manage possession for short spells. Yeovil slightly edging it but an organised MK Dons proving hard to get past.
Goal scoring chances then came in quick succession. Yeovil caption Annie Heatherson with space out wide whipped a great cross in to a dangerous for Kelly Aldridge, a player who has only just come back off Army exercise on Friday, but she couldn’t quite get her foot on to the ball. The cross was cleared and MK Dons immediately countered and should have broken the deadlock.
The opener came soon after as Heatherson again found herself on the left wing, a clever cut to lose her defender and the ball in was heading for Aldridge again but it was Bright of MK Don’s whose looping header evaded the goalkeeper to nestle in the net.
Yeovil then gained control of possession and comfortably passing the ball around but failing to create to many more clear chances on a cold day in Dorchester. In defence there was a hustle and energy about Yeovil in an attempt to match the physicality of MK Dons. With the fouls mounting up an eventual free kick form a deep lying position almost found Aldridge again but her header skimmed just wide.
The game boiled over on 30 minutes as Wiltshire found herself for the third time knocked to the ground and for her reaction shown a red card.
Although Yeovil were down to 10 players MK Dons were sitting back letting Yeovil enjoy possession. Sherwood’s charges should have doubled their lead, full back Halford on a marauding run found herself in so much space to shot on the edge but too many touches meant the youngster was soon under pressure.
MK Dons struck the post just before the half but the ball rebounded to safety.
HALF-TIME: Yeovil Town Women FC 1 – 0 MK Dons FC Women
The second half started much like the first with even possession but MK Dons were playing with a higher pressure and looking to make the extra player count.
It was Yeovil who looked more likely to score though as it was deja vu for Aldridge having minutes earlier scuffed an effort from distance she fired a great shot off the underside of the bar from 25yards but it bounced the wrong side of the line. Then it was Heatherson’s turn as her header was straight at in the MK Dons goal.
Yeovil started to feel the pressure of the visitor as they made substitution and tactical changes to go for goals. As Yeovil cleared their line MK Dons failed to deal with it and the gambling Meesha Dudley-Jones picked the ball up just on half way and made a bee line for the goal. With defenders recovering she expertly created space with a quick cut inside to the corner of the 18 yard box and unleashed a bullet strike into the far top corner. Her celebration aimed towards the celebrating technical area.
The fans were vocal and pushing the home side as the MK Dons pressure kept coming but the defending was resolute from Yeovil.
Beth Howard in the home goal didn’t have much to do all game until 65minutes when a double save on the goal line kept MK Dons out.
The fans were even more vocal when Aldridge, was one on one with the MK Dons goalie only to be upended out side the box as she’d knocked the ball around her and ready to knock it into an empty net. The match official felt the brunt of the fans noise as he only felt the take down worthy of yellow.
The visitors continued to pile the pressure on with four and five players in attack. But Yeovil stood firm.
The visitor did pull a goal back when Yeovil’s Dan Carlton ran a ball out for a goal kick was given as a corner. The ensuing chaos of bodies in the box meant the ball found its way in at the front post.
Charlotte Buxton then denied MK Dons a leveller right before full-time but her second perfectly timed tackle in the box of the day stopped.
It was a performance of strong character on the return of Jamie Sherwood to the club but with room to still improve.
FULL-TIME: Yeovil Town Women FC 2 – 1 MK Dons FC Women
Yeovil return to The Clayson Stadium on 24th November for a League Cup game against Southampton FC Women.