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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

08 December 2019 Venue Proact Stadium Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Sheffield United
3 - 1
London Bees

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Match Previews

Katie Wilkinson aiming to keep good run of form going

6 December 2019

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Sheffield United Women striker Katie Wilkinson says she's happy to be back among the goals after finding the net in the team's hard-fought 2-1 win at London City Lionesses last Sunday.

Wilkinson tapped home Olivia Fergusson's low cross in the eighth minute to put the Blades 1-0 up before Fergusson herself won the game with 15 minutes to go after the hosts have equalised.

It leaves the Blades on a five-game winning run heading into this Sunday's clash with London Bees and a run which has seen manager Carla Ward named FA Women's Championship manager of the month for November.

Despite popping up with a vital goal, Wilkinson was happier for her team mate who ended up scoring the winner.

"It's good to be back in the goals but I was delighted for Liv more than anything because she's been working really hard on her left foot and she put the cross in for the goal on her left foot, so credit to her for that one. She's also scored a worldie to win the game so happy days."

After drawing at home to Charlton Athletic in the league at the end of October, the only game the Blades have dropped points in since the opening game, the team have gone on an impressive run of five wins including two wins in four days against close rivals Durham before last week's win at third-place London City.

Wilkinson believes the team's mentality to bounce back from a disappointing draw and take maximum points from league and cup games in November was key in their run.

"I was looking back at the results we had in November and there was a W next to each one. Looking back on it the result at the end of October against Charlton maybe shouldn't have happened but we've come back with four wins and that's quality. If you want to win the league, that's where it matters, when you have big games in a short space of time."

Ward's team had to contend with away trips to Lewes and Durham before hosting the latter in the space of seven days and now embark on a similar run before the winter break.

London Bees come to the Proact Stadium on Sunday before another home game in the final Continental Cup group match against Coventry United on Wednesday night. A trip to Leicester City next Sunday rounds off another week which sees the Blades face three games in seven days but the striker says she prefers that to having a week without a match.

"The more games in a week is better than having a break. We've got a more than good enough squad to deal with three games in a week. You keep up momentum, you get more minutes and it's more enjoyable."

Wilkinson will be up against some familiar faces this weekend as she gets set to face her former club for the first time since joining United from the Bees in the summer.

After picking up an injury early last season, Wilkinson made her return from injury against the Blades in November last year, setting up both goals in a 2-0 win for her former club.

So it was little surprise when Ward decided Wilkinson was the striker she wanted to build her new look team around for the new season.

"Wardy said I was a big target for her and they needed a striker that could build the play and was a good finisher. Hopefully I've brought that and helped the team out in that sense, but I've just got to keep adding to it.

"Everyone is chipping in because we've got a quality squad and at the back whether it's the defenders throwing their bodies on the line or Becky flying across her goal, there's nobody that hasn't added to how we're doing this season."

Wilkinson has already reached double figures across all competitions before Christmas and scored a superb seven goals in her first five games for the club and has added a further four since as the league settles and the competition gets tougher.

The Blades number nine set herself personal targets at the start of the season and while admitting she's happy with what she's managed so far, she's always aiming for more.

"Personally, I'd have maybe liked a few more and I've had a few games without a goal but you have to chip in in other areas and work hard for the team, but when you do score it's great. But we just have to keep working hard as a team to keep getting these results."

Sheffield United Women host London Bees at the Proact Stadium at 2pm on Sunday 8th December.

Click here to buy tickets online, or you can pay in cash on the gate on the day.

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Match Reports

United Women 3-1 London Bees - report

8 December 2019

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Sheffield United Women made it six wins in a row in all competitions with a solid 3-1 win against London Bees.

The victory was Carla Ward's side's fourth FA Women's Championship win in succession and kept them within three points of league leaders Aston Villa.

Goals in the first from Jade Pennock and Olivia Fergusson gave the Blades a buffer after half an hour but they were pegged back just over 10 minutes into the second half when Nikita Whinnett fired past Becky Flaherty.

But just two minutes later Katie Wilkinson struck to seal another vital win heading into a busy week which sees the team face two more games before the winter break.

Both sides started brightly but it was United who were creating the better openings without overly testing Bees goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill.

But keeping up their fast starts, the Blades were ahead inside 20 minutes. A neat one two between Pennock and Fergusson allowed the former to fire home a low effort to continue her good form this season.

Less than ten minutes later and United doubled their advantage, Fergusson this time on the end of a low ball across the box from Wilkinson after a pacey counter attack from the Blades.

Both scorers could have had another but Pennock saw a dinked effort just drop wide while Fergusson was denied in a one on one with Quantrill. Wilkinson saw a free-kick drop just over as United looked comfortable going into the break.

The score though was halved shortly after the break when Whinnett stole in behind the United defence and hammered an effort past Flaherty into the far corner.

United though responded in the best possible fashion and regained their two-goal margin within two minutes. A loose pass was intercepted before Pennock slipped in Wilkinson who promptly found the net against her former club to make it 3-1.

From then on Ward's side were largely in cruise control as they wrapped up another big three points, Pennock and Aimee Palmer going closest to a fourth as both saw efforts drop just over the crossbar.

Blades: Flaherty, Barker, Tierney, Little (Lipka 66), Hartley, Pennock, Cusack, Wilkinson, Paul (Sarri 71), Palmer, Fergusson (Matthews 81).
Unused subs: Batty, Dixon.

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