United Ladies returned home for the first time as newly crowned league champions after five away day games on the trot. Peterborough had been a real title rival until United made mathmatically sure in their last game and with the League Cup final just a week away, the visitors rested some of their players carrying knocks and started the game with only ten.
United were without Annalise Carroll and Molly Cawthorn and went with a 3-5-2 line up. The Bladettes didn't have to wait long for the goals to start as Melissa Celi set up Jen Pearson for a sight of goal and her fine shot from outside the box put United ahead after just three minutes.
Then United took their eye off the ball for a few minutes and after just five minutes Peterborough equalised through Cassie Steward after a first shot was blocked. The same player then struck again four minutes later after a mix up in the United defence and the visitors were 2-1 ahead.
United got back into their rhythm first Nat Froggatt went close with a header and Jodie Hartley hit a post. The equaliser came after 21 minutes when a United shot was blocked and the ball spun up into the air for Pearson to react first and nod home for her second of the game.
United kept going and Rachel Ruddach had a header saved and a Jodie Hartley shot was parried by Peterborough's 'keeper, who also saved the follow up from Pearson. Player of the Season Hartley had been an influence all half raiding down the left and put United back ahead after half an hour unmarked at the back post from a Sophie Bell cross.
Just before the break Celi rounded the 'keeper to slot home United's fourth. The Italian striker was playing her last game for United before moving to the south coast to pursue her new career so was delighted to sign off with her eighth goal of the season. 4-2 at the interval.
The second half wasn't as slick as the first and United took along time to get back into their rhythm. Spirited Peterborough pulled a goal back after 57 minutes to make it 4-3, the signal for United to send on all three substitutes to freshen things up on a warm afternoon. One of the subs, Shannon Smith, went close with a cheeky back heel at a corner kick which hit a Boro post but it had taken 20 minutes to come that close to scoring.
Peterborough lost a player with 20 minutes left and almost inevitably, now down the nine players, the remaining phase of the game was almost entirely in the Boro half. Bell had a header saved from a Shannon Smith cross and Ruddach had a goal disallowed for a handball in the build up. Sub Alex Hickerman had her shot by the busy Boro 'keeper but finally United found their fifth goal after 84 minutes when Smith set up Bell to nip in and poke the ball home.
In the last minute of normal time Kim Brown's cross was stabbed home at the back post by Pearson to complete her hat-trick and her 25th of the season in all competitions. The goal spree also helped the Bladettes past 150 for the season.
Blades: Johnson, Brown, Froggatt, Hopkinson, Bell, Spurr (Hickerman), Ruddach, Hartley (Wainwright), Pearson, Marsden (Smith), Celi.