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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

03 November 2019 Venue Proact Stadium Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Sheffield United
4 - 1
Blackburn Rovers

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Match Previews

Katie Wilkinson aims for Blades bounce back against Blackburn

1 November 2019

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Sheffield United Women forward Katie Wilkinson is looking for the whole team to bounce back from last weekend's draw at home to Charlton Athletic in the Continental League Cup this weekend.

Carla Ward's side host Blackburn Rovers and have won one and lost one in the cup so far as they look to make it out of what is currently a tight Group A where all five teams have a chance of making it to the quarter-finals.

After beating Liverpool in their first game, the Blades lost to Aston Villa two weeks ago and are looking to avoid a third game without a win after last weekend's 2-2 draw at home to Charlton.

"It's now just about a positive performance and a positive result," said Wilkinson. "Charlton was a game we definitely feel we should have done better in so we need a quality performance on Sunday, that's important, not just the result."

After leading 1-0 early on after Wilkinson deflected home Jade Pennock's shot, the Blades found themselves trailing 2-1 at the break, but a goal from substitute Olivia Fergusson earned a point in the end as United failed to close the gap after FA Women's Championship leaders Aston Villa had dropped points earlier in the day.

United have scored 24 goals in their six league games so far, five more than next best Villa and Wilkinson knows the forwards are going to have to continue their top form as more teams come to Olympic Legacy Park to frustrate the Blades.

"We've got a quality front line and quality players on the bench ready to come on. Teams are going to bank up and as Wardy has said that's a compliment to us, but we've got to be better at breaking hem down. In some people's eyes they'll say we did that against Charlton but we didn't win the game so we don't feel that's good enough."

With no clean sheet to their name so far this season, United are firing down the other end enough to ensure results have remained positive, with Charlton the first points the team have dropped since the opening day of the season and just the team's second draw in the league since the start of last season.

"Defensively it always starts from the front, so it's not just down to the back line to stop the goals going on. We have to make sure we are doing better, keeping the ball better. We'd all agree our performance defensively and offensively last week wasn't good enough which is why we didn't come away with three points.

"But we came back from a goal down to take a point in the end and that is at least a positive we can pull out of it."

This weekend will be the second time the Blades have met Rovers this season, with September's league clash at Bamber Bridge going in United's direction as Ward's side came away with a 3-2 win.

Wilkinson scored the critical second goal after Chloe Dixon had equalised before Pennock sealed the game late on. After a tough encounter in the league, Wilkinson is expecting similar this time around and another challenge similar to Charlton.

"I think Blackburn will do the same. We've had a week to prepare for it. It will all be dependent on how we play, how quickly we can move the ball. I think it will be similar. We played them not so long ago and they know our strengths going forward. I think they'll be even more prepared so it will be even more difficult than last time."

With a break for the international window coming up after Blackburn, United head into a tough run of games which includes Lewes, a double-header with Durham, London City Lionesses and London Bees and Wilkinson knows it's important to regain momentum heading into the short break.

"100%. We've got three weeks from now until our next league game and we're going into a difficult run of games. We've got to make sure we put things right."

Sheffield United Women kick-off against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday November 3rd at 2pm at Olympic Legacy Park.

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Match Reports

United Women 4-1 Blackburn - report

3 November 2019

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Sheffield United Women returned to winning ways with a comfortable 4-1 victory in the Continental League Cup at home to Blackburn Rovers.

It leaves Carla Ward's side on six points from nine with two Group A games to go after a Katie Wilkinson double set them on their way to victory.

Wilkinson's goals took her tally to 10 for the season already before Sam Tierney scored her first goal for the club and Jade Pennock continued her good run of scoring form.

Ward made three changes as Emily Batty, Leandra Little and Olivia Fergusson came into the side and the Blades continued their run of fast starts when they earned a penalty after 15 minutes.

Rovers were reduced to 10 players as Chelsey Jukes saw red for handling Wilkinson's effort on the line and the striker promptly stepped up to fire the ball low beyond Lauren Perry.

The advantage in personnel allowed United to control the first half and they could have had more as both Fergusson and Aimee Palmer saw efforts from range blocked before Pennock headed wide at the back post.

Wilkinson did get her second before the break as she headed home a shot from Veatriki Sarri from close range, and there were chances for more as Perry denied Pennock and Tierney blazed over.

The midfielder though did get her first goal in red and white soon after the break when she headed home Palmer's cross from the right to extend the advantage to three.

Fergusson headed wide while down the other end Little did brilliantly to block Saffron Jordan's effort after the striker had rounded Batty before Pennock slammed home a fourth at the back post from Alethea Paul's deflected cross.

The visitors did get a goal back late on when Naomi Hartley fouled Jordan inside the box, the striker picking herself up to fire high into the net despite Batty getting fingertips to her effort.

Blades: Batty, Barker, Tierney, Little, Hartley, Pennock, Cusack (Paul 60), Wilkinson, Palmer, Sarri (Matthews 75), Fergusson.
Unused subs: Flaherty, Clarke, Fletcher.

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