A strike from Kim Farrow on the stroke of half-time condemned Nottingham Forest to a third-round FA Cup exit on Sunday as The Reds were beaten 1-0 at home by MK Dons.
The Dons started the game brightly and forced The Reds into some early defending. A dangerous ball came bouncing into the Forest box but Kelly Darby did enough to prevent the shot and Grace Walters remained composed to head the ball back to the safety of Rebecca Thomas’s hands.
The Reds had an opportunity to carve the opening goal through Charlie Griffin. Trina Greaves played a short pass across to Griffin on the edge of the area but her first-time volley was strongly blocked by The Dons' defence.
MK Dons snatched the lead in the second minute of first-half stoppage time through a great solo effort from Farrow. The striker latched on to a through ball inside the Forest box and despite Thomas rushing off her line to meet the ball first, Farrow knocked it past the keeper and slotted the ball over the line from a tight angle.
The Reds came out strongly in the second half and had a chance to equalise ten minutes in. Forest caused chaos in the away side’s box as Katie Middleton and Edwards knocked the ball between each other searching for space to shoot but neither could arrange their feet to get their shot away and the ball was cleared to safety.
Thomas ensured the away side didn’t double their lead on the hour mark as she rose high to collect a looping header from Farrow on the goal-line as a corner came flying into the Forest penalty area.
Forest were bolstered by the return of Nicola Emery in the 75th minute as the tricky forward made her return from a long-term injury and she made an instant impact. Emery cheekily back-heeled the ball into the path of Middleton in the box but her follow-up cross was blocked before it could reach a red shirt.
Leah Cudone had an opportunity to seal the win for MK Dons as she burst into the Forest box but her effort came bouncing off the post. The missed effort didn’t prove to be costly for the away side though as their first-half goal was enough to see them through to the fourth round of the SSE Women's FA Cup.
Speaking after the game, manager Graham Abercrombie stated that despite the loss, “there are so many positives” to take away from the game and that there is, “no disappointment or upset with the performance, only with the result.”
Forest: Thomas, Hewitt (Parnell 75’), Harkin, Darby (c) (Cresswell 36’), Walters, Conroy, Griffin, Constantinou (Emery 75’), Edwards, Greaves, Middleton
Subs not used: Hallam, Wilson, Bonser
Bookings: Darby 33’
MK Dons: Shults, Doyle (c), Bright, Clark, Holland, Hughes, Gough (Boote 77’), Cudone, Naylor (Wright 66’), Littlechild (Gooderham 82’), Farrow
Subs not used: Kirby, Tullett