Luton Town Ladies 2-2 AFC Dunstable (AFC win 4-3 on pens)

Bedfordshire Women’s Cup Semi Final
Sunday 17th March 2024
AFC Dunstable Ladies overcame a strong Luton Town Ladies team at Sharpenhoe Road on Sunday to win on penalties after a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes and reach the Bedfordshire FA Women’s Cup Final.
The OD’s are looking much stronger after a difficult start to the season and more than competed with the more experienced Hatters team. It was a great game with both sides going for it, showing determination and desire to win.
AFC’s Haile Richards had the first chance of the game in the 7th minute but was denied by a great save by Amy Butler.
However, she was not to be denied ten minutes later when a fine through ball from AFC’s player of the match Olivia James was met by Richards who sprinted clear of the Hatters backline then finishing calmly into the bottom left-hand corner.
In the 37th  minute Luton’s Fiona Buttigieg crossed for Leyah Maddix but her header went wide of the target.
The hosts levelled the game five minutes before the interval Buttigieg’s free kick was headed home by Tanya Blacksley at the far post.
Luton had the first chance of the second half when Maddix sent a shot just over the bar but AFC retook the lead in the 58th minute when Richards was found in acres of space and she cooly slotted home her second of the game.
The game got a bit physical for a spell during which Luton drew level again when Andie Dickens scored in the 74th minute. Yellow cards for the Hatters’ Amy Wade and AFC’s Georgia Miller came either side of the goal as things got a bit tense.
Gabriella Spillman had a chance in injury time to win the game for Luton but saw her effort go wide of the post.
The game then went to penalties. Maddix scored for the home side then team mate Butler saved Chloe Tambula’s penalty.
Amber Pearson scored her penalty to give Luton a 2-0 lead then AFC’s Gemma Whitchurch got her team on the board to make it 2-1 before the visitors’ keeper Ella Claridge saved Wade’s spot kick.
Lilly Nellis then made it 2-2 before Spillman just managed to score her penalty which came back off the post on to the unfortunate Claridge’s back and in to the net. James then levelled the shootout at 3-3.
Butler then stepped up for Luton but her effort cleared the crossbar. Richards, as she had done all game calmly side footed her penalty in to the net to win the game for AFC 4-3 on penalties.
Team: Claridge; James; Cook; Robb; West; Miller; Tambula; Rothwell; Surridge; Richards; Powell.
Subs (all used): Morris; H Smith; Whitchurch and Nellis.
Royston Town Ladies 1-2 AFC Dunstable
ERWFL Premier Division
Wednesday 27th March 2024
AFC Dunstable Ladies superbly bounced back from a disappointing loss at St Albans City to beat third placed Royston Town Ladies on Wednesday night.
Goals from Haile Richards and Sian Morris gave them a 2-1 win in Hertfordshire.
Team: Claridge; Cook; Ingram; Robb; Brazel-Hawkins; Miller; Tambula; Rothwell; Morris; Richards; Powell.
Subs (all used): Horsley; H Smith; Surridge and Nellis.
Wroxham Women 3-2 AFC Dunstable
ERWFL Premier Division
Sunday 14th April 2024
AFC Dunstable Ladies first team made the long trip to Wroxham on Sunday and got off to a slow start. The journey seemed to be still in their system as they went 3-0 down in the opening 17 minutes, which included two unfortunate own goals.
They responded well though, dominating large parts of the game from then on, pulling a goal back just before the break to give them hope for the second half. In the 69th minute a comeback was on when they reduced the hosts lead further, scoring their second of the match. Despite having a lot of possession and chances to draw level and even win the game it was not to be.
AFC’s goals came from joint player of the match, Ruby Powell and 16 year old Sian Morris who has now scored in her last two appearances. Georgia Miller was named the other player of the match. 
Team: Chambers; Cook; Ingram; Robb; Brazel-Hawkins; Miller; Surridge; Rothwell; Morris; Richards; Powell.
Subs (all used): Hogan; H Smith; Sapwell; West and Whitburn.