McKay’s late stunner sends Hatters Ladies through in FA Cup

Luton Town Ladies' Jess McKay

Luton Town Ladies' Jess McKay

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Luton Town Ladies reached the next round of the FA Cup after Jess McKay scored a stunning late winner to defeat AFC Sudbury 3-2 on Sunday.

Hatters went close early on through Dionne Manning, but Sudbury showed their intent, forcing Jessica Devoti into three saves.

Zara Carroll fired over, while Nicola Henman was denied by an excellent stop, as the game sprung into life after the break, when on 47 minutes, Stacey Teager fired Sudbury ahead.

Luton responded immediately though as Jo Rutherford equalised less than a minute later with a superb finish, curling the ball into the bottom left corner.

Devoti made another excellent save to deny Mia Etheridge after the hour mark but she was helpless to stop a tremendous 18-yard drive from Megan Partridge making it 2-1 to the hosts.

Manager Nikki Baker brought on Shanice Jiminez though and she grabbed Town’s second equaliser, firing into the roof of the net from McKay’s splendid pass.

Just when it looked like extra time would be needed, McKay struck the winner in sensational style, as she hammered home from 40 yards.

Luton will now play Oxford City Ladies in the fourth qualifying round on November 13 as Baker said: “I was preparing for extra time until Jess scored another outstanding goal and I’m extremely happy to be in the hat for the next round.

“It will be good to have a little cup run and it is also a good break from the league where it takes the pressure off and sometimes allows for some squad rotation.

“We sat too deep in the first half so we pushed higher as a unit in the second half and this worked, as although we conceded two sloppy goals, credit to the girls they got themselves back in the game quickly both times.”

Luton are away at Plymouth Argyle in the FA WPL Plate this weekend.