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Maidenhead United Ladies bow out of FA Cup after narrow defeat to Luton Town Ladies

MAIDENHEAD United Ladies bowed out of the FA Cup after a 1-0 home defeat to Luton Town Ladies on Sunday, but defensive midfielder Amy Saunders felt it was one of the Magpies’ best performances of the season.

The team weren’t intimidated by Luton Town’s reputation and set about their visitors from the outset. However, despite dominating possession and chances, they weren’t able to break the deadlock.

Kerthney Carty’s side were then punished for a slow start to the second half as the Hatters edged in front through Jess McKay. The player collected a pass, held off her marker, before firing into the back of the Magpies’ net.

The home side did their best to rouse themselves in the final quarter, and felt they should have had a penalty when Laura Palfrey was seemingly taken out by the goalkeeper in the area, but the referee waved away the Magpies appeals.

“It was actually one of our best performances of the season,” said Saunders.

“The first half in particular we dominated in terms of chances but couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net. Their keeper was definitely the busier of the two and we were unlucky.

“I think that we’re doing the right things in terms of defence. We’ve certainly tightened up a lot from last season and it’s at the other end of the field that we now need to improve.

“Luton are a very established team at this level and I think a few of the girls might have been a little intimidated beforehand by their name and reputation but that didn’t show in the first half. We didn’t start the second half as well as we’d have liked and they scored quite early on. We then tried hard to get the equaliser and had a strong penalty claim turned down when Laura Palfrey was taken out by the keeper. There were a lot of shouts from the bench about that.”

The Magpies, who were set to visit Basingstoke Town Ladies last night (Wednesday), are looking to improve on last season’s seventh placed finish.

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