Report | Southampton into Third Round after penalty showdown

Southampton reached the Third Round of the Women's FA Cup for the first time in recent years. Photo credit Ken Dear.

Southampton Women's beat Milton Keynes Dons on penalties to progress to the Third Round of the Women's FA Cup.

Nothing separated the two sides in 90 minutes but MK thought they had the win in extra-time through Dominika Netschova until Lauren Cheshire fired home with seconds to spare.

Into penalties where Rose Kite saved two and MK missed another leaving Erin Bloomfield to slot home the winning spot-kick, queue delirious scenes.

Aaron Smith made four changes from the Moneyfields defeat which saw Charlie Taylor get her first start in a strong starting-XI.

There was also a strong bench of Philippa Holden, Hannah Samuels, Kayleigh Tonks and Jane Yeates giving Smith options against the National League Southern Premier Division side.

The hosts could have had an early lead, Laura Vokes' free-kick was superbly parried by Kiya Webb before Emily Wernham headed over from the resulting free-kick.

With the pitch heavy underfoot the two struggled at times to control the ball and maintain possession.

MK worked their ways into the Southampton half but they lacked enough in the final third to trouble the Reds.

Jessica Driscoll controlled a shot on the half-hour mark but it sailed over the crossbar while Amy Gooderham fired straight at Kite.

Bloomfield maintained possession in a packed midfield to play Cheshire out wide to then link with Vokes who found the perfect cross but there was no one arriving at

Jane Yeates and Erin Bloomfield in the thick of things. Photo credit Ken Dear.

the back post.

Little separated the two sides with few shots at goal between them kept the tie level at half-time.

Webb had to get low to block an excellent strike from Bloomfield while Kite also parried an effect wide.

Lauren Clark found herself within range but her shot skimmed over the crossbar.

The game was end to end and a battle through the midfield with both defences holding firm.

For an FA Cup tie the game lacked some quality although the defenders either end were earning their keep.

Gooderham found the space to cross into the box finding a teammate on her own within range but the attacker completely fumbled the shot.

The second-half was busier for Kite but the young Lioness confidently claimed everything in her path.

Deep into injury-time Southampton won a corner, Nat Bavister took the set-piece picking out Yeates in the middle but her volley got too much angle and went wide.

Full-time: Southampton 0 Milton Keynes Dons 0

Level after 90 the game went to extra-time with penalties also on the cards if the two sides were still tied.

Tonks was introduced as the final substitution and had an instant impact.

Holden played the attacker wide into the box where she cut back onto her right foot and curled a shot at goal but Webb reacted quickly to get a big hand out to deny the opener.

Another chance fell for Clark but she dragged her shot wide while Gough drilled a low shot easily claimed by Kite.

111 minutes down and we finally got a goal but not the one the home crowd were after.

Netschova raced down the left-wing putting everything into her cross into the box that it gained the extra length where it flew over Kite and into the back of the net.

Advantage to MK but there was still time for a goal or two.

Much like the rest of the game chances were few and far between with MK keen to keep hold of the ball to run down the clock.

They couldn't maintain possession though and with mere seconds left Southampton were awarded a free-kick 25-yards out and to the left of goal.

Something special was needed and could it be the captain Cheshire to deliver?

Yes, she could. A wonderful strike that just got the better of Webb to nestle into the bottom of the goal and take the game to penalties.

AET Full-time: Southampton 1 Milton Keynes Dons 1

This was all or nothing for two sides and it was the visitors who went first.

Kite guessed right saving the first penalty and Yeates wasted no time with hers firing low which Webb got a hand too but the ball found the net.

Laura Bright was next but blasted the ball over giving Holden the chance to make it 2-0 however, she curled her penalty wide.

Two down and 1-0 to Southampton, Vicky Neal stepped up and just beat Kite who dived the right way but couldn't get her hand out to parry the shot.

Neal already on a yellow card, was given her marching orders following her penalty and was sent to the changing rooms.

Rose Kite saved two penalties. Photo credit Ken Dear.

Captain Cheshire eventually dispatched the third making it 2-1 before Kite's body blocked Driscoll's penalty.

The fourth penalty for Southampton and it would have been game over but Clark's was well saved by Webb.

Anya Kinnane gave MK a glimmer of hope as levelled with the fifth and leaving it all to Bloomfield, score and Southampton are through but miss and it was sudden death.

The teenager took her time on the approach and cooly sent Webb the wrong way booking a place in the Third Round for the first time in recent history.

Jubilant scenes after Southampton won 3-2 on penalties. Photo credit Ken Dear.


Third Round Draw

Southampton have been draw at home to either West Bromwich Albion or Lincoln City in the next round.

The tie is set to be played on Sunday, January 5th.

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