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Match Reports

United Ladies 10-0 Notts County - report

23 January 2017

After three cup games United returned to league action on Sunday and put in a professional performance against second-bottom Notts County Development.

United already had gone close twice from the off when Melissa Celi back-heeled United ahead after five minutes. That signalled the start of a blistering spell of play from United with slick passing and a total five goals in 18 minutes to secure the points so early in the game.

Full-back Jodie Hartley ghosted into the box unmarked at a wide free-kick to make it two and just a minute later Jen Pearson headed in for three. Sophie Bell was a constant threat down County's left all game and she added goals four and five, the first from the penalty spot and the second after Celi's shot was parried.

5-0 up after just 23 minutes, United were in cruise control. Christina Skull nearly got her first of the season, volleying against the top of the crossbar. After sustained possession two more goals were found just before the end of the half. Hartley's long shot was only parried and Pearson tapped the ball in for her second and United's sixth. Then Kim Brown drilled a low home right at the whistle for number seven.

To their credit County came out more defensively organised for the second half and as the afternoon got duller and colder the game went rather flat compared to the first half.

United manager Dan O'Hearne had the luxury of rotating some of the squad with a triple substitution ten minutes into the half. United were still in complete control and didn't have a single shot against them. Substitute striker Tania Marsden was the main threat but unusually wasn't able to add to her career total of 97 United goals on this occasion.

Bell was in fine form and made a great run through the County defence to set up substitute Shannon Smith for another tap in goal, after 76 minutes, for number eight.

Just as it seemed the game had fizzled out Smith popped up to score the best goal of the match with a fine shot on 90 minutes. One minute later, in injury time, Bell made another run to the byeline and teed up Smith for her hat-trick and to make it the round ten for their good work.

Blades: Johnson, Hartley, Cawthorn (Wainwright), Hopkinson, Bell, Ruddach (Smith), Skull, Pearson (Marsden), Brown, Carroll, Celi.

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