Chichester City Ladies win at MK Dons to go top of league
A stunning 86th-minute goal from Molly Clark sealed a dominant 1-0 win for Chichester City Ladies at Stadium MK over a resilient Milton Keynes Dons side - to put them top of the table.
From the off, Chichester caused problems for the hosts but couldn’t convert plethora of chances.
Sophie Shults made a series of saves to keep her side in the game but with four minutes of normal time left Clark struck from 30 yards.
Following Chi’s win last week in the League Cup against Portsmouth Aaron Smith chose to start Tash Stephens, Rebecca Barron and Clark.
Leah Littlechild had the opening chance, sending a low effort across goal that beat Lauren Dolbear but grazed the back post.
In the final third Chichester were lacking early on, with Clark and Stephens both unable to turn in following two great balls into the box.
Clark did scrape the bar after great control from Helen Ogle before firing in a shot from 20 yards that Shults claimed.
The former Pompey midfielder was a danger and her long-range efforts were testing Shults, who had to parry an effort at the back post.
The hosts found their feet on the counter and ex-Lewes pair Tammy Waine and Lauren Dolbear worked well to stop Hev McDonnell after she was played clear through.
Stephens should have scored on the stroke of half-time when Widdows played her through on goal, but Mollie Burgess and Leanna Doyle recovered to block.
Sara Tubby replaced Sharna Capel-Watson at half-time and the striker had a glorious chance to open the scoring with a header that Shults parried over.
The ex-Brighton player was denied twice in front of goal before Milton Keynes looked to counter but they couldn’t get past Ogle, who had raced back into defence.
Laura Igram replaced Widdows and headed clear a Dons free-kick before the defender linked up with Ogle to create a chance that was well caught in the box.
Leah Cudone was caught offside on a rare attack for the hosts.
Into the final 10 minutes Clark had a 40-yard strike saved, Stephens headed over and Tubby struck the post when she put the ball between the keeper’s legs.
The goal finally came in the 86th minute from a short corner played to Clark who produced an amazing finish to claim the points.
Chi Ladies: Dolbear, Cheshire, Capel-Watson (Tubby), Waine, Taylor, Widdows (Ingram), Simmons, Clark, Stephens, Ogle, Barron (Jade Simmons 76’). Unused sub: Bell
* Chi City Ladies host Pompey at Oaklands Park on Wednesday evening.