United enjoyed the perfect warm-up game prior to Sunday's Women's FA cup tie against Leeds United at Bramall Lane.
This FA Women's Premier League Midlands clash with second to bottom-placed Leicester City Ladies at the SteelPhalt Academy was far more one-sided than the scoreline might suggest, such was United's total dominance. Molly Cawthorn returned to the starting XI as one of the back three, as did Alex Hickerman in centre-midfield.
After some good early chances, including a free-kick from Kim Brown headed off the line, it was Millie Kenyon who put United ahead after 21 minutes. The former Steel City player scoring a rare headed goal from a Brown cross.
United's possession was such that 'keeper Jess Houldsworth, at times, hardly touched the ball. Despite this, United couldn't add to the score as the first half played out, Jorden Spurr went nearest with her free-kick hitting the City crossbar. Hickerman, Brown and goalscorer Kenyon all had further chances to name but three but it remained 1-0 at the break.
Twin strikers Tania Marsden and Nat Shaw both had one-on-ones saved and Kenyon had a 'goal' ruled off-side into the second half. Despite these and other clear chances that failed to add to the score United remained calm and kept playing the quick passing game until almost inevitably the goals started to come. A strong run to the byline and low cross from Kenyon set up Nat Shaw for the second after 69 minutes. Only a minute later Shaw scored again after Kenyon's initial shot had been blocked for 3-0.
United kept the pressure on City's overworked defence, Brown's volley was well saved as the goal attempts tally continued to climb. Substitute Jen Pearson completed the scoring with three minutes to go with a simple finish in the box to give the scoreline a little more of a reflection of the how one-sided the game had been.
United move into fourth in the league due to Burton Albion's defeat at TNS whilst Loughborough Foxes won the top of the table clash at Solihull. So United go into Sunday's cup tie in great form, unbeaten in seven games and with 23 goals scored in their last 4 games.
No injuries to report and a full squad to start the final preparations for the game with Leeds United. Please note this is an earlier kick-off time than usual, 12pm noon. Admission is just £3 for adults, kids and OAPs £2.
Blades: Houldsworth, Cawthorn (Marshall), Neary, Froggatt, Bell, Brown, Spurr (Ashton), Hickerman, Kenyon, Shaw, Marsden (Pearson).