PREVIEW: Milton Keynes Dons Women

22nd February 2023

By Kieran Neller.

Midweek action for Cheltenham Ladies as they face MK Dons at home on Thursday night.

The sides played earlier in the season at Stadium MK where, despite a goal by Amy Wathan (pictured) to equalise in the second half, the Dons won with a 96th minute cross-turned-shot by Tricia Gould. 

The game comes during a congested part of the Robinesses’ fixture list, having played and lost on their visit to Portsmouth on the weekend. The outfit also travel to Plymouth on Sunday to round off the busy week. 

MK Dons have faced defeat in their last two league games to Gillingham and Watford, and will be hoping for a change in fortunes. 

Cheltenham have also lost their last two games, but have faced the three teams at the top of the table in succession. The side broke Oxford United’s undefeated streak with a sensational 2-1 victory. 

The Robinesses sit sixth in the table, equal on points with a game in hand on Billericay Town. 

MK Dons are currently eighth, but the side have played fewer games than anyone else in the league and have a similar points-per-game to manager Tom Davies’ team. 

Speaking ahead of the fixture, Davies is certain of an exciting game. 

“The intensity is going to be really high. We know it’s a 50/50 contest. We know we’re going to have to work really hard to get a result and so do they. It’s going to come down to which side is going to be that little bit sharper.” 

“For neutrals, I think it’s going to be a fantastic game to watch. Every challenge is going to be fought for, every tactical tweak is going to have an effect on the result. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.” 

Davies added that the heart-breaking defeat earlier in the season is motivation for him on Thursday. 

“The defeat was a really difficult one to take for everyone. We’d just won the league, came into tier three and won our first two games and we were in this bubble.” 

“We go away to MK, it’s under the lights and then last minute we had that bubble burst. To lose last minute is always difficult. Given the other factors it really hurt us.” 

But he said the side aren’t focusing on the previous result. 

“It’s not a motivator we have used. But I remember every defeat I’ve been a part of as a manager or a coach and it’s not going to sit right with me until we right that wrong.” 

Cheltenham Town Ladies v MK Dons Women takes place at Evesham United (postcode: WR11 2LZ) at 7:45pm on Thursday, 23rd February. 

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