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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

05 December 2018 Venue Academy Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Manchester City
6 - 0
Sheffield United

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Match Previews

Blades take on Man City Women in Continental Cup

4 December 2018

Sheffield United's women's team face their toughest test of the season so far when they travel to 2016 FA WSL champions Manchester City for a Continental Cup match on Wednesday night.

Nick Cushing's side have won the cup twice since relaunching their women's team in 2014 and a win on Wednesday would send City through to the next round of the competition.

United themselves are coming off the back of a frustrating 1-1 at Millwall on Sunday, though positives came in the form of Beth Ibbotson's composed debut in defence and another start for 16-year-old Izzy Ford.

With United likely to be without several players due to injury and unavailability on Wednesday, manager Carla Ward may have the chance to test both Ibbotson and Ford against one of the best sides in Europe and there could be possible debuts for other youngsters too.

"It will be a good chance for the youngsters," said the manager. "The only issue is there's potentially going to be one or two who haven't kicked a ball in the first team this season. Having said that, the couple that have come in so far have done alright. Beth had her debut against Millwall and did great and she might play again on Wednesday, we'll just have to see what we've got."

With United unlikely to qualify from a tough group which includes three top tier sides, Ward's long-term view is on the final league match before the winter break at Aston Villa on Sunday.

United kick-started their new era with a win at Boldmere in the cup back in August but after two consecutive league defeats on the road, Ward is prioritising this weekend's league encounter over the Manchester City match.

"I've said all along the cup is the cup. We can experiment but we've certainly got to do that on Wednesday night. 100% I'd have preferred to have the league game against Villa midweek and Man City on the weekend, I think it would help us."

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Match Reports

Man City 6-0 United Women - report

5 December 2018

United's women's team went down 6-0 in the Continental Cup against two-times winners of the competition Manchester City but a young side did themselves no disservice.

With Nicole Kemp returning to the side, a start for Alethea Paul and more minutes for Izzy Ford, as well as a late debut for teenager Autumn Housley, United put in a dogged performance and could have scored on a night where they gave it their all in Manchester.

The hosts put out a strong side which included England starts such as captain Steph Houghton, plus Karen Bardsley, Keira Walsh and Georgia Stanway.

City's strengths showed early on as Nick Cushing's side breezed into a 3-0 lead inside 25 minutes. A defensive slip after just eight minutes allowed Janine Beckie to score what would be her first of four goals on the night, before teenager Jess Park doubled the lead after Alex Brooks saved Beckie's initial effort.

A back pass from Ellie Gilliatt soon after allowed Beckie to add a third before United grew in confidence and had several chances to narrow the deficit before the break.

The best chance fell to Sophie Jones who fired wide after taking a neat touch from Paul's through ball, and United went close again at the start of the second half as they tried to take the game to their hosts.

Beckie though completed her hat-trick just minutes after half-time and a fifth followed soon after when Beckie was tripped inside the area, allowing Stanway to step up and send the ball just past the outstretched Brooks.

United's players though were determined to enjoy the occasion. Ford beat Beckie with a neat backheel flick in the second half as the 16-year-old once again looked at home in the Blades side.

Boss Carla Ward introduced Autumn Housley to make it three debuts in four games for the Blades but City had time to add a sixth as Beckie completed her four-goal haul with a tap-in as United's players tired late on.

Blades: Brooks, S. Barker, Tierney, Pennock, Kemp (Housley 85), Gilliatt, Jones, Paul (Ford 54), Marsden (Sarri 46), Merrick, Ibbotson.
Unused subs: Joyce, Hartley, Shaw.

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