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Hatters dominate Dunstable to progress into the next round

By Leon Waite

13 November 2017 19:24

Match Report: AFC Dunstable Ladies 0-4 Luton Town Ladies

Luton Town Ladies thumped local rivals AFC Dunstable Ladies 4-0 on Sunday as they progressed into the second round of the Women’s FA Cup. The visitors dominated the match at Creasey Park from the outset and emerged with a richly deserved victory.

Last weekend’s league action yielded a frustrating 0-0 draw with Enfield Town Ladies, courtesy of a Luton performance lacking guile in the final third despite long periods of pressure.

And that final detail was the only aspect of their display initially this afternoon that required refinement, although there was plenty of intent from the girls early on.

Joanne Rutherford was restored to the starting lineup and she fired wide of the near post having neatly controlled Dionne Manning’s pass and turned two defenders.

Manning quickly took shooting matters into her hands, driving into the right-hand side of the penalty area before striking into the grateful arms of the goalkeeper.

The opportunities continued to come for the away side as Nicola Henman forced the keeper to stick out a right leg to send the ball behind for a corner, which eventually dropped for Jess McKay to smash her volley over the bar from close range.

Dunstable- who ply their trade a division below in the Eastern Region Women’s Football League- spent the vast majority of the opening half-hour containing their opponents but served Luton a warning with a lob that drifted just wide of Kezia Hassall’s goal.

The Hatters needed to capitalise on their dominance swiftly and the identity of the player who opened the scoring was unsurprising as McKay- who scored the winner in the previous round at Maidenhead United Ladies- bent a terrific shot into the top corner from twenty-five yards out.

Having struggled so long for a goal last Sunday, the opener here seemed to inspire Nikki Baker’s team and by the halftime they had settled the contest with Manning’s cut-back buried into the net by the impressive Henman before McKay volleyed in her second emphatically from inside the box.

The in-form left-winger could have secured her hat-trick after the interval as she latched on to Henman’s ball in behind and saw her shot across goal palmed wide by the keeper.

With the prospect of Dunstable mounting a comeback highly unlikely, the game became rather tepid and tedious.

Luton remained an attacking threat, however, and they added a fourth when Manning’s looping shot sailed over the despairing keeper to complete a comfortable afternoon’s work.

The hosts had a couple of decent chances but they were well-beaten by a rampant Hatters side, who need to transfer this form back into the league now with a trip to Actonians Ladies coming up next Sunday, KO 2pm.

After the game Baker said “We are delighted to win but winning 4-0 tops it off. It could of and should of been a few more but I am more than happy. We dominated from the off and put the game plan into full effect. We hope we can take this into league games now, and look forward to the draw for the FA Cup”.