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Kick off 17:00 (UK)

08 September 2018 Venue Look Local Stadium, Stocksbridge Attendance

Kick off 17:00 (UK)

Sheffield United
0 - 2

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Match Previews

Ward excited ahead of big kick-off

5 September 2018

Carla Ward says United Women are ready for their league season to begin at the weekend.

Speaking on the eve of the kick-off of the Blades FA WSL 2 campaign, Ward is hopeful of a positive start against Durham at the weekend after a hectic summer of recruiting players ready for United's first season in the second tier.

She remarked: "It's been an interesting summer, we've had to recruit a number of players, 17 in fact.

"But we've had a good pre-season, the girls are ready and we're confident of having a good season.

"The continental cup games highlighted several strengths, but also a few weaknesses and we have to be more clinical than we have been throughout pre-season."

It's not just on the field though where the Women have bolstered their ranks, Ward has also strengthened her coaching staff.

Ward added: "Working with Mick (Wadsworth) has been nothing if not entertaining and the girls themselves seem to be loving training, so that's a big positive.

"Mick and Mark (Smith) have both been absolutely brilliant, Mick is old school which I love and joined us from the first day of pre-season, whilst Mark recently joined us and is very knowledgeable too.

"The girls want to learn and develop and I couldn't ask for more support than what I've got."

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Match Reports

United Women 0-2 Durham - report

8 September 2018

United's women's team went down fighting against a more experienced Durham side in their debut match in the FA Women's Championship.

Second half goals from Becky Salicki and Emily Roberts were enough to give the visitors the three points on a day where the hosts struggled to create clear cut chances.

Carla Ward welcomed back captain Ellie Gilliatt to the starting eleven but even her experience couldn't stop what was an understandably nervy opening for a new-look side.

Durham had the clearest chances of the first half, Ellie Fletcher clearing Emily Roberts' effort off the line before Rachel Lee missed a glorious chance to score before the break, slicing an effort just wide from the edge of the box.

United were much improved after the break but still struggled to break down a solid Durham side. Sam Tierney sent a half-volley over the bar before Durham struck the killer blow shortly before the hour mark.

Beth Hepple's cross was flicked on and centre-back Salicki rose highest at the back post to head Durham into the lead.

United fought back though. Substitute Alethea Paul sent in a driven cross that had Hannah Reid scrambling to palm clear before Chloe Dixon lobbed an effort just wide after she found herself through against the Durham goalkeeper.

Another substitute, Tania Marsden, had a chance deep into stoppage time as the Blades desperately looked for a way to snatch her point, but her looping header only landed on the roof of the net.

With the final action of the match, Durham put some gloss on what had been a close match between the two sides. Nikki Davies saved a low effort from Nicki Gears, but the rebound fell to Roberts who composed herself and curled into an empty net to seal the match.

Ward's side now dust themselves off before welcoming FA WSL side Birmingham City in the Continental Cup next Sunday.

Blades: Davies, Barker, Cox, Fletcher, Gilliatt, Tierney, Pennock (Ford 89), Rayner, Merrick (Marsden 71), Dixon, Cresswell (Paul 61)
Unused: Kemp, Ford, Stevens, Ryan


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