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Ben Yeomans urges Cambridge United Women to have self-belief after defeat to leaders AFC Wimbledon in FA Women's National League, Division One South East

Cambridge United Women suffered defeat to AFC Wimbledon
Cambridge United Women suffered defeat to AFC Wimbledon

Ben Yeomans rued the missed chances as Cambridge United suffered a 2-0 defeat to league leaders AFC Wimbledon in the FA Women's National League, Division One South East last Sunday.

It was almost a nightmare start for the U’s. Wimbledon’s Lily Stephens swung in a free-kick from the left which squirmed under the body of Liz Pamplin before it was hooked away on the line.

The away side continued their fast start and the pressure told in the fifth minute. United conceded possession in midfield and the ball broke to Katie Stanley, who, having spotted Pamplin off her line, chipped in from 35 yards.

The U’s responded immediately as Kelley Blanchflower latched on to a loose back pass and rounded the keeper but her effort towards goal was blocked.

Wimbledon thought they had doubled their lead minutes before half time when a free-kick, flicked on at the far post, was turned in by Hannah Billingham. However, the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

After the break, it was the U’s who came out of the traps the quickest. Amber Cantwell dinked a delicate ball through to top goalscorer Kelley Blanchflower, who slipped at the vital moment to skew her shot wide of the far post.

Just as it seemed the hosts were getting on top, Wimbledon struck again. Stanley turned provider to find Georgia Heasman to double the Dons lead.

Second-half substitute Angelina Nixon almost got the U’s back in the game with an effort that looked destined for the top corner but landed on top of the net.

Amy Howlett was then denied by Wimbledon-debutant Megen Lynch, who made a smart one-on-one save following Blanchflower’s through-ball.

Wimbledon closed the game out to move to the top of the Division One South East table, leaving United head coach Ben Yeomans largely frustrated.

“It was a stereotypical performance from us," he said. "We were at fault for both of their goals and we had chances to equalise and keep ourselves in the game and we didn’t take them.

“We looked like we were getting back into it and they go and put the game to bed at 2-0.

“They need to start believing in themselves, having the confidence when they do go through on goal to stay calm and level headed and put the ball in the goal. But, I know they’ve got it.”

Stand-in skipper Gisela Otten also felt her side were unlucky.

“It was a 2-0 loss but if you see the number of opportunities that we got it was really 50/50, so we really deserved more there.

“I don’t know if it is confidence - it really is the same number of opportunities and then the last one-third of the game we kind of stress out. I don’t know what it is.”

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