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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

27 September 2020 Venue Technique Stadium Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Sheffield United

London Bees

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Match Previews

Wilson looking to build momentum

26 September 2020

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Blades defender Ellie Wilson is looking forward to facing her former club when Neil Redfearn's side return to action at home to London Bees on Sunday.

After picking up four points from the first two games of the new FA Women's Championship season, Wilson's former club are the visitors to the Technique Stadium as United look to continue their solid start to the campaign.

The centre-back spent two seasons with the Bees before swapping orange for red and white this season, and she's looking forward to continuing what has been a positive start for both her and the team.

"I'm looking forward to it. I'm glad we're back at home too, to get back out on that pitch and hopefully have a bit more of the ball this time. Maybe it's a bit more exciting facing a former club, you want to perform against old team mates, old manager, so I'm looking forward to it."

Wilson has been a mainstay at the back in the team's opening two games, impressing with her performances alongside captain Leandra Little.

A defender who can also play both full-back roles if called upon, the former England under 23 international has enjoyed locking down a position early in her United career.

"I'm really enjoying it. Being able to play across the back line, it's nice to have a bit of consistency and build up a partnership with Leandra. I think it's working well and we've generally been quite solid as a unit and hopefully that filters through to the whole team. I feel like I've done ok so it's about maintaining those standards for the games to come.

Leandra's been great to play alongside. Very demanding, very clear with her instructions. We seem to have built up a good understanding. Her communication and standards filters through the whole group and it will only help me to develop and learn from her moving forward this season."

So far head coach Redfearn has recorded a 4-1 win against London City Lionesses in his opening game, following that up with a hard-fought 2-2 draw at home to full-time Leicester City, where the Blades were just minutes away from another win until a last-minute penalty gave the Foxes a point.

While frustrating at the time, Wilson says the international break has allowed her and the team to reflect more positively on the results so far and take some momentum into a busy period which will now see the team play six games in five weeks.

"If you'd asked us prior to those two games, you want six points but we'd have been fairly happy with four. I think we're still happy, but obviously the nature of how we lost the two points was disappointing, at such a late stage in the game, but also so many positives to take from both games aside from the points.

"We want to keep building and taking maximum points from every game coming up. It was pretty fresh at the time, it felt like a loss, but reflecting on it there's a lot of positives to take that we can put into the games to come. We don't want to feel that again so it might be a good lesson learned for everybody to grind out results, whoever we're playing against."

With a busy period ahead which will see the Blades face three away games in a week from next weekend, two league games and the Continental Cup opener against Aston Villa, then followed by back-to-back home league games, Wilson knows the squad has the quality in depth to cope.

With new signing Olivia Chance now training with the team and the likes of Maddy Cusack, Alethea Paul, Becky Flaherty and Nat Johnson all on their way back to full fitness, competition for places is ramping up.

"It's been competitive from the minute I came in the door. With players back in the squad, the competition is very tight, we have at least two or three options in any position. It keeps people on their toes, it keeps the standard in training higher and with games coming up I think you could pick any starting eleven to be honest."

Wilson was on the wrong end of a 3-1 score line when she faced the Blades as a Bees player last season, with both Jade Pennock and Katie Wilkinson on the scoresheet for the hosts.

Both players already have two goals apiece after two games, as does new signing Mel Johnson after her brace against Leicester City.

With the goals already flowing, Wilson is confident the team can take on anyone which such a powerful front three in front of her and her teammates.

"The strike force we have in the team is just ridiculous, we've got such quality going forward. Wilko and Pennock have a good relationship and Mel just adds to that.

"It's comfortable for us knowing once the ball goes forward we can trust them to go and do their job and vice versa they can trust us. It gives you a platform to build off when everyone trusts each other and all three of them have had a great start."

Sheffield United Women host London Bees on Sunday 27th September, 2pm, the game will be played behind closed doors. Extended highlights and the full match will be available to watch on Monday on the FA Player.

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Match Reports

Women 4-0 London Bees - report

28 September 2020

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Two goals each from Mel Johnson and Katie Wilkinson pushed Neil Redfearn's Blades to a 4-0 win at home to London Bees.

The win made it two from three in the FA Women's Championship, but the Blades were made to work hard, particularly in the first half.

There was a return to the starting eleven for Maddy Cusack while Ali Johnson also made her first league start for over a year.

It was the latter who went closest early on as she burst into the penalty area, only to see a fierce effort tipped onto the crossbar.

Wilkinson, Kasia Lipka and Jade Pennock all also tested Sarah Quantrill in the Bees goal, but it was Mel Johnson who continued her good form from the Leicester City match who opened the scoring with a low finish two minutes before half-time.

The Blades though had been below their best and Redfearn introduced new signing Olivia Chance and Veatriki Sarri at half-time.

The second half was a different story as United dominated from beginning to end. Johnson got her second four minutes into the half when she slotted home Wilkinson's low pass across goal, before the Blades number nine turned scorer as she did the same, this time Pennock was the provider.

Pennock went close on two occasions to adding a fourth, while Sarri also fired wide as United asserted their dominance.

The fourth came minutes from the end, another deft finish from Wilkinson to finish off a superb cross from Sarri.

Rhema Lord-Mears almost made it five in stoppage time, but Redfearn was left pleased with his side's performance.

"I thought we started well, hit the bar but we got a bit sloppy and it just needed tweaking a bit. Second half we were brilliant, we were on the front foot, we created chances and our finishing was top draw."

Blades: Kitching, Wilson (Walton 75), Little, Hartley, Lipka, Pennock (Lord-Mears 75), Cusack, Wilkinson, Dixon (Chance 46), A. Johnson (Sarri 46), M. Johnson (Coan 88).
Unused subs: Batty, Paul, Matthews.

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