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Kick off 13:00 (UK)

23 February 2020 Venue Proact Stadium Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

Sheffield United
5 - 1
Blackburn Rovers

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Match Previews

Women return to action against Blackburn

22 February 2020

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Sheffield United Women return to the Proact Stadium this Sunday for their first match in a month as Carla Ward's side host Blackburn Rovers at 1pm.

The Blades were originally due to face Lewes but with the south coast side facing a rearranged Women's FA Cup tie against Arsenal, the match against Rovers was moved forward from April 26th to ease the fixture congestion the Blades are likely to face at the end of the season.

With a game scheduled for the start of this month against Crystal Palace already pushed back and a trip to Charlton postponed last time out, the Blades will hopefully be able to get back to action and put to bed a frustrating January which saw the side lose three of their four matches.

It will only the second home league encounter of 2020 following on from defeat to Aston Villa at the start of January, with only FA WSL sides Manchester City and Birmingham City coming to the Proact in the seven weeks since that match.

With a relatively fully fit side after such a break, manager Ward says her team are raring to go ahead of Sunday's game.

"It's always frustrating when you have so many weeks off but the girls have been putting the work in and are ready to get back at it on Sunday."

The fixture marks the start of a busy seven-game run-in over the next two months which will determine whether or not the Blades get promoted to the FA WSL at the end of the season.

While defeat to Villa but the league leaders in pole position, Durham's cancelled game at London Bees at least gives the Blades a chance to return to second in the league with a result tomorrow and Ward hasn't given up hope of winning the league yet.

"We don't feel it's over just yet. We need to do our bit and hope results go our way and the focus now is all about us getting maximum points to keep the pressure on."

Ward has largely a fully fit squad to choose from bar goalkeeper Becky Flaherty who will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on a hip issue earlier this week.

Opponents Blackburn sit seventh in the Championship, 21 points behind the Blades and while only four points clear of the bottom, Gemma Donnelly's side do have games in hand on the teams below them.

Sunday's meeting will be the third times the side have met with Ward's side coming out on top on both previous occasions.

United came from behind in September to win 3-2 thanks to goals from Chloe Dixon, Katie Wilkinson and Jade Pennock, while Wilkinson and Pennock were again among the goals in a 4-1 Continental Cup win in November, with Sam Tierney picking up her first senior Blades goal during the same encounter.

Tickets are priced at £5 adults, £3 concessions and free for Sheffield United season ticket holders. Tickets originally purchased for the game against Lewes will also be eligible on Sunday. Tickets can be bought on the gate.

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Match Reports

United Women 5-1 Blackburn - report

23 February 2020

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Sheffield United Women scored five for the second FA Women's Championship game running against Blackburn Rovers in their first game of the month.

Weather conditions over the past few weeks meant Carla Ward's Blades had been as unlucky as any team in seeing games postponed, but the team responded as if they'd never been away.

They got off to the perfect start as Jade Pennock scored two goals in quick succession to put the Blades 2-0 up with just 15 minutes gone.

Her first came as Sophie Barker slotted her in on goal, Pennock doing the rest with a low finish past Fran Stenson.

Four minutes later and Pennock had her second. Veatriki Sarri went on a superb run through the middle of the park and her effort from the edge of the box deflected into the path of Pennock who smashed a first time effort into the bottom corner.

Blackburn though came back at the Blades and pulled a goal back shortly before half-time when Natasha Flint fired a low effort into the bottom corner from outside the box.

Both sides had chances during a relatively end-to-end first half, Emily Ramsey doing well to stop Flint's low effort while Maddy Cusack fired just over at the other end.

The game turned when Rovers defender Kayleigh McDonald was shown a straight red card for dissent just seconds before half-time, allowing United to dictate the second half with their numerical advantage.

The Blades came out rampant and had several chances to open up their lead again. Mollie Green struck the post before Olivia Fergusson was denied by a superb Stenson save and Wilkinson then too saw an effort tipped over.

But the Blades number nine wasn't denied minutes later when she volleyed home after Sam Tierney did well to play Barker's cross back across goal.

Green did get her goal, her second in as many games, when she was in the right place to slot home Alethea Paul's low cross, and the victory was complete late on when Rhema Lord-Mears bagged her first goal for the club against her former side with a close range finish, her first touch after coming on as a substitute.

Blades: Ramsey, Barker, Tierney, Hartley, Pennock, Cusack (Lipka 64), Wilkinson (Matthews 71), Paul, Sarri, Fergusson, Green (Lord-Mears 82).
Unused subs: Batty, Ford, Johnson.

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