Injury-hit Chesham claim spoils thanks to youngster
Underdogs defy the odds as Euman rises highest to head home winner
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.