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Reading FC Women retained the Berks & Bucks FA Cup at Abingdon United FC on Sunday with a comfortable 3-0 win over Milton Keynes Dons in the Final.
Two first half Mel Fletcher goals saw the Premier League team in control and the victory was sealed by Nikki Watts on 64 minutes. The South East Combination underdogs battled hard, but rarely threatened Grace Moloney in the Reading goal.
Unlike last year's final where Reading struggled to break down Combination opposition and were taken to penalties, an early goal broke the deadlock. A Fran Kirby header against the bar fell to Fletcher who finished from close in on eight minutes.
Apart from a Heather McDonnell shot from a Kelly Bingham cross midway through the half, the Reading defence allowed the Dons attackers few chances to shine. Watts then picked out Kirby beyond the far post and her cut back allowed Fletcher to double the lead on 43 minutes.
Reading continued to dominate after the break with Watts seeing a lot of the ball, mainly on the left, and creating numerous chances. Dons defended well but it was not surprising that a third goal arrived, Watts finishing coolly from 12 yards after a ball was half cleared.
Only good goalkeeping from Charlene Ward and wasteful finishing prevented Reading from adding to their lead in the final quarter of the match.
The MK Dons had earlier tasted success when their reserves beat Stony Stratford Town 3-0 to lift the Berks & Bucks Trophy but it was not to be their first team's day.
Reading FC Women: Grace Moloney, Stacey Wiggins, Megan Alexander, Kelly Chambers, Gemma Sims, Harriet Scott, Nikki Watts, Melissa Fletcher, Francesca Kirby, Megan Bradley, Mikaela Howell. Subs: Jasmine Brewster, Orla Dimond, Paige Vantuykom.
Milton Keynes Dons: Charlene Ward, Kelly Robinson, Kate Costin, Heather McDonnell, Charly Wright, Hannah Barrett, Jade Linnell, Lauren Goodier, Kelly Bingham, Leanne Burns, Mikaela Welford. Subs: Christie Turner, Nikki Tarrent, Jo Brandon, Emma Ford, Amy Walker.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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