Luton Town Ladies held on to defeat Cambridge United 2-1 in their home FA Women’s Premier League South East Division clash on Sunday after Zara Carroll was sent off following a second half brawl.
The hosts created the first chance when Joanne Rutherford’s cross was volleyed wide by Natasha Fensome.
Hatters continued to dominate though and eventually went in front when Carroll’s corner saw Nicola Henman fire home from close range.
After dominating the first half, some poor defending proved to be costly for Town as Laura Bright headed in to make it 1-1 at the break.
The second half was a much more open affair, as Luton retook the lead when Michelle Byrne’s lovely pass saw Fensome turn her marker to find the bottom corner.
A brawl broke out on the pitch seven minutes later though after a Cambridge player squared up to Shannon Pratt and after a scuffle, Carroll was dismissed.
The visitors looked for a leveller late on, but Hatters held firm as boss Nikki Baker said: “I am delighted to get three points after having to defend with 10 players for a long time.
“We should have been out of sight in the first half missing a couple of good chances but holding on to it, after the sending off is really pleasing.”
On the second half drama which saw Carroll dismissed, Baker added: “I am not complaining about Zara’s red as it was a red but there was some inconsistency there.
“A Cambridge player has tackled Jo two-footed, and been given no card. Another girl then squares up to Shannon which initiates the fight, she gets no card.
“It then ends up in a big brawl in which players from both teams throw punches and we end up with one yellow and one red. That is what infuriates me.”
Hatters travel to Enfield this weekend.