Without doubt one of the greatest days in the Ladies' 14 year history went perfectly to plan on their first ever game at Bramall Lane.
The game may have been only a first round tie of the Women's FA Cup but the whole occasion felt more like a cup final for all at United. The occasion wasn't lost on the opponents Leicester City Women's Development, from the league below, who were out to spoil the party if they could.
The first half was fairly cautious with few real chances as both sides looked evenly matched. A few passes on both sides went astray, maybe down to a few nerves as the game settled down. Marsden had a rare glimpse of goal midway through the half but fired narrowly wide whilst at the other end United 'keeper Kirsty Johnson was fairly comfortable with anything Leicester had to offer.
The game needed something to bring it to life and out of the blue it was United who obliged after 40 minutes. Jen Pearson took free-kick on United's left side but instead of floating into the box, passed it square to right-back Kim Brown, who took a touch and unleashed a spectacular 35-yard shot. The ball dipped just under the crossbar beating the City 'keeper for one of the goals of the United season. Brown raced to the touchline to celebrate with the United staff in a moment of unbridled joy shared with all her team mates. The majority of the 429 crowd enjoyed that moment too. The attendance figure being a new home record for the Ladies team.
United were soon looking for another as the second half kicked off and found it five minutes into the half. A short corner was crossed in diagonally by Brown, dropping over United heads but a City defender behind stuck out a leg and could only manage to deflect the ball into the roof of her own net for 2-0.
Thereafter United looked in fairly comfortable control of the game. City`s threat faded as the game went on. Johnson in United's goal had a very solid game with her command of the area and captain Rosa Neary marshaled her back line faultlessly throughout.
United pressed City with several corners and went close to finding a third goal a few times. Jodie Hartley forced a defensive header off City's goal line in one such attack and Jen Pearson's dipping shot had to be tipped over in another.
It had been a very clean game of football and a credit to both clubs. The United players enjoyed their moment at the end to acknowledge the support of the crowd as the realisation began to set in.
Neary commented: "An absolute dream come true and I couldn't be prouder of the group we have." Goalscorer Brown was understandably delighted "What an experience, still feels like a dream! To score a 35-yard screamer at Bramall Lane, I can't explain the feeling."
Blades: Johnson, Brown (Wainwright), Neary, Cawthorn, Hopkinson, Bell, Hartley, Ruddach, Pearson (Carroll), Darbyshire (Smith), Marsden.