In­jury-hit Che­sham claim spoils thanks to young­ster

Un­der­dogs defy the odds as Eu­man rises high­est to head home win­ner

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORTS -

The young­ster headed home a sec­ond-half win­ner for a patched-up Che­sham against their fan­cied op­po­nents after Gemma Fraser’s opener had been can­celled out.

It had looked as if United’s sea­son had peaked too soon as they strug­gled with nu­mer­ous in­juries lead­ing up to the game at Buck­ing­ham Ath­letic, with a crowd of nearly 300 ex­pect­ing to see MK Dons pre­vail.

But a doughty Che­sham were de­ter­mined to spoil the party.

United lead­ing scorer Fraser was de­clared fit be­fore the match but Che­sham were still with­out a few reg­u­lars – Katie Squire and Laura Barton un­able to get back from univer­sity and Chantelle O’Grady unwell – which meant young­ster Emily Os­gerby was drafted in to cover at the back and the ex­pe­ri­ence of Sian Wil­liams was added to the bench.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity of shack­ling MK cap­tain Charley Clarke was given to her old Wy­combe col­league Kirsty Glad­win, who did a fine job on her highly ac­com­plished op­po­nent.

Che­sham were in­tent on keep­ing things tight at the back but there was plenty of room in mid­field and both sides showed good in­tent.

Pos­ses­sion was even but the Dons were start­ing to press for­ward with Lau­ren Good­ier open­ing up to force Che­sham goal­keeper Lu­cia Masella into a fin­ger­tip save onto the post.

A chance to coun­ter­at­tack on 34 min­utes saw Emma Delves pick out Tash Smith, who beat her de­fender and whipped a low cross to the near post where Fraser was across the de­fender to clip the ball home.

Five min­utes later MK were on level terms and it was two for­mer Che­sham play­ers who did the dam­age after their old side could only clear as far as Good­ier.

Her neat pass set up Heather McDonnell to turn and send in a loop­ing shot which was de­flected in.

Che­sham knew if they stuck with their game­plan they were in with a chance but ques­tions re­mained about whether they had the stamina.

United en­joyed a spell of pos­ses­sion and Nat Adams broke free in the box only to see her shot blocked.

The move of the match saw an ex­change of passes be- tween Glad­win and Smith for a deep cross, Fraser suck­ing the de­fence to the near post for young­ster Eu­man to rise and head into the top cor­ner.

Che­sham were re­lent­less in their ef­forts to stop MK break­ing through with Masella’s han­dling ex­cep­tional as the Dons were forced to shoot from dis­tance.

An op­por­tu­nity at the far post was sti­fled by winger Paula Lambert and the fresh legs of Mich Bai­ley and Sarah Tyes – re­plac­ing the cram­phit Smith and Eu­man, re­spec­tively – proved in­valu­able.

The last 20 min­utes be­came a bat­tle but not once were Gem Darvill or Liv Har­ris out­mus­cled as their staunch work paid off to pro­duce a mem­o­rable day for the club and their fans.

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