Luton Town Ladies reached the semi-final of the FA Women’s Premier League Plate after a late Nicola Henman goal sunk visitors Milton Keynes Dons Ladies on Sunday.
The 3-2 win did not come without adversity, however, as Town fell behind early on as a corner was poorly dealt with allowing the ball to drop for Vicky Holland to smash past goalkeeper Kezia Hassall.
Dons continued to enjoy the better of the chances in the game with Luton struggling to construct attacks through midfield, although Jess McKay threatened to equalise, only to volley tamely into the keeper’s gloves.
An ominous ball across the face of the Luton goal was frantically cleared by the defence, before Town hit back.
Zara Carroll saw her free kick strike the bar before Rachel Kosky recovered the ball to force Sophie Shults into a good save.
When it eventually came back out to Carroll she unleashed a stunning shot that nestled into the top right corner to make it 1-1.
The intensity increased briefly following that goal as Town rediscovered their belief and set about completing a turnaround.
Their ambitions were curtailed moments prior to the half time interval, though, as a whipped cross saw Hassall clatter into a Dons striker to concede a penalty.
Heather McDonnell assumed the responsibility and slotted her effort into the bottom right corner.
A rescue act was required in the second period and evidently inspired by their coaches’ cajoling during the break, parity was quickly restored.
Henman’s low shot was saved but not cleared sufficiently to prevent the electric Natasha Fensome following up to finish.
The home side’s dominance at the start of the second half drifted as both teams created a paucity of chances with Dons looking most likely as a cross into the area was headed just wide.
Extra time seemed inevitable as Fensome fired straight at Shults, however, the uncharacteristically quiet McKay had yet to truly impact the game.
That changed in the dying seconds when she glided past her full-back to the byline and proceeded to put the ball on the plate for Henman in the middle who couldn’t miss.
Town’s home tie with FA WPL Northern Division side AFC Fylde Ladies on Sunday has been called off due to a frozen pitch.