FA Cup heartbreak for Millwall Lionesses as AFC Wimbledon strike late at St Paul’s

Sports Desk (17 November, 2021)

Jack Wheeler's side defended valiantly before their south London rivals struck twice in the last ten minutes

50074The Lionesses were knocked out in the first round proper. Photo: Millwall Lionesses FC

Millwall Lionesses suffered FA Cup heartbreak as AF Wimbledon scored two late goals at St Paul’s last weekend to progress to the second round.

Millwall had won seven consecutive games – five of them under new boss Jack Wheeler – but the run was ended by a side in the fourth tier, one above the Lionesses.

The Dons were kept at bay until the 80th minute when Katie Stanley made the breakthrough.

The visitors sealed their win in the last minute when substitute Emily Donovan finished a cross from Rebecca Carter.

The visitors dominated from the start and had fifteen shots in the first half but couldn’t find a way past Lionesses goalkeeper Chrissie Wiggins.

After Wiggins had made a number of early saves, the Lionesses had their first chance through Maisie Joyce. It was from a long-range free-kick that seemed to initially deceive Lauren Allen with an awkward bounce, but the goalkeeper recovered to save for a corner.

Ex-Lionesses striker Ashlee Hincks was a constant threat for the Dons but Millwall stayed compact as they tried to limit attempts to trouble Wiggins.

Wheeler’s side improved after the break but the visitors still possessed plenty of threats and thought they had take the lead with thirteen minutes left but Wiggins produced a brilliant save to tip the ball onto the bar and the Dons couldn’t find the net after the ball had bounced back into play.

But that was only a temporary reprieve for Millwall as Stanley finally beat Wiggins when she fired home.

Millwall responded as they tried to press their opponents back but they couldn’t find a way through and the away side added a second through Donovan.

Wheeler acknowledged his side’s efforts against their resilient display He said: “Very proud of this group of players and staff over the last five weeks.

“Today’s performance shows how far we have come in such a short space of time. But credit goes to an excellent AFC Wimbledon Ladies team.

“Good luck in the next round and for the rest of the season.”

Skipper Libby Stubbs added: “I am so proud of what we have achieved, left it all on the pitch and we stayed strong for 80 minutes against a very strong team from the league above.

“We can keep our heads high and now focus massively on our league games.”

Dons manager Kevin Foster felt his side’s took advantage after Millwall had expended so much energy in the game.

He said: “In the last 20 minutes they started to tire and we started to get our heads around it a little bit.

“It’s a great finish from Katie Stanley, a great cross from [Rebecca Carter] and a great run from Emily to get us over the line.”

Millwall are back in London & South East Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division action this Sunday when they take on Aylesford. Kick-off in Rotherhithe is 2pm.

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