United Ladies are on the brink of clinching the league title after an emphatic away win on Sunday against Arnold Town.
Recent away wins at both nearest rivals Bedworth and Peterborough have been consolidated with further wins on the road at Nettleham, whilst the Arnold game made it 10 straight league wins to go into pole position.
As the game settled down it was Arnold who went close with an early chance, United 'keeper Johnson making a good save with her legs. That would be as close as Arnold came all game as it turned out. United going on a 14th clean sheet of the season.
United were soon overcoming Arnold's high defensive line and on 17 minutes Annalise Carroll laid a pass through for fellow striker Tania Marsden to slot past the out coming 'keeper to open the scoring.
Four minutes later Arnold had a double blow when a Sophie Bell corner was headed goalwards by Nat Froggatt only for a defender on the line to handle the ball. The referee awarded United a penalty and sent the defender off. Bell converted the kick for 2-0 and from then on it was one way traffic for the rest of the game. On 26 minutes Cara Hopkinson crossed from the left for Carroll to make it 3-0 and a minute later from the same spot Jen Pearson crossed into the box just over Marsden's head but Bell was following in to volley in number four.
The Arnold 'keeper made two good saves before the break as United pressed for more. Marsden and Jodie Hartley were withdrawn at the break to protect them for another day as both had taken slight knocks in the previous game.
Bell set up the fifth with a low cross that Froggatt slid in for but it was Kim Brown following up at the far post to finish. Pearson went close next with a superb shot that hit a post. United were now in complete control and fresh legs kept the relentless pressure on Arnold's over-worked defence. Bell again set up the next goal with another low cross for Brown to finish after 71 minutes. Ten minutes later Shannon Smith made it 7-0, getting on the end of a Pearson cross to head home from close range. The scoring was completed by another of the substitutes when defender Paige Wainwright got on the end of a square pass inside the six-yard box from Brown to get something on it to make it eight.
So a very professional performance once again, the team's fourth biggest win of the season.
United can go into their friendly match against Jersey FA Ladies this coming Sunday at Bramall Lane knowing recent hard work has taken a lot of pressure off them. The next league game is to bottom of the table Ruddington Village the following Sunday. Kick off time for the Bramall Lane game is 2pm, admission £3 adults and £2 children via the Hualing (South) stand turnstiles.
Blades: Johnson, Brown, Froggatt, Cawthorn, Bell, Ruddach, Hartley (Wainwright), Pearson, Hopkinson, Carroll (Smith), Marsden (Hickerman).