Late heartbreak for MK Dons Women as they exit the FA Cup to Birmingham
Two stoppage time goals for Birmingham City would deliver heartbreak for MK Dons Women as they were sent out of the FA Cup on Sunday, losing 2-0.
A brilliant defensive performance from Charlie Bill's side looked set to secure a replay for Dons as they held firm at Stadium MK, but Choe Yuri's bobbling 92nd minute effort gave the Blues the lead, before Charlie Devlin doubled the advantage a couple of minutes later.
With a division separating the sides, Birmingham looked the team in the ascendency from the opening whistle. For the majority of the first-half, it was attack against defence as City kept the home side on the back foot, but the Dons defence proved tough to break down.
Nicola Puddick at left-back proved particularly tough to get past as Birmingham looked to use Jade Pennock down the right-wing, only to shift her to the opposite flank midway through the opening period after getting no change.
Centre-halves Zoe Creaney and Sofia Stovold too offered up some brave blocking as they denied the visitors anything clear-cut for keeper Chloe Sansom to have to deal with.
While the defence was putting in a shift though, anything further forwards for Charlie Bill's side was quickly snuffed out by a high City line, with ventures over half-way precious few for the home side.
The best chances came towards the end of the first-half, and both fell to the Blues, with Louise Quinn first heading onto the top of the bar, before Libby Smith spooned a strike over the bar from eight yards out.
It was more of the same in the second-half, with Birmingham getting all the more frustrated as time wore on at the lack of openings from the disciplined Dons defence. Charlie Bill's side sat deeper and deeper as the half wore on, but chances remained at a premium for the visitors despite their relentless pressure.
As they pushed forwards late on though, it left holes for Dons to exploit in the attacking third, but Rhianne Rush and Tricia Gould both appeared to have more time than they thought, hurrying their efforts on goal, and never troubling keeper Lucy Thomas.
With the tie looking set for a replay, Birmingham would strike twice in stoppage time to end Dons' run in the competition. Choe Yuri's effort in the second minute of six added on looked one of the tamest efforts of the night, but somehow it bobbled through a crowd and snuck in at Sansom's near post to give the visitors the lead.
Then with the Dons keeper sent forward for a corner late on, Birmingham were able to break and substitute Charlie Devlin was able to break over half-way, rolling the ball into the empty net and City into the fourth round.
MK Dons: Sansom, Warren, Puddick, Stovold, Creaney, Biggadike (O'Brien 90), Attenborough, Rush, Mitchell (Dolling 89), Wood, McLean (Gould 61)
Subs not used: Beaver, Welham, Samuels, Timon, Jacovides, Byrom
Birmingham City: Thomas, Harris, Louise Quinn, Lawley, Pennock (Yu-ri 80), Finn (Mason 46), Smith (Devlin 74), Harrison-Murray, Fuso, Lucy Quinn (Allen 46), Moore (Agg 64)
Subs: Clarke, Banaras, Cho