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Match Reports

United Ladies 5-1 Steel City Wanderers - report

23 September 2017

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It's been a very memorable last few days for United's Ladies team.

An 11-0 win at Rotherham United last Sunday, a photoshoot on the Bramall Lane pitch and a superb performance against another local rival club Steel City Wanderers to top it off.

The local rivalry between the two teams is the longest and by far the strongest of any United have and dates back to United's first ever competitive match 15 years ago to the month which was a 3-0 win against City.

The two were regularly meeting in the East Midlands Premier League a decade ago plus in the League Cup final in 2006 when the Blades secured the double. The two have met a few times since in United's favour, winning a WFA Cup tie in 2012 and three County Cup ties in 2013, 2014 and 2017.

With six former United players in the City squad the visitors were as motivated as ever to redress the sequence of results against United.

United had three of their four former City players in the starting line-up to further add to the fabric of the fixture in goalkeeper Jess Houldsworth, Nat Froggatt and Millie Kenyon. With City bringing good support it doubled the usual gate to just over 100 fans.

United went ahead after 13 minutes when Nat Shaw drilled a low cross to the near post for Tania Marsden to slide in ahead of the City 'keeper to score. Kim Brown went close to adding to the score with a powerful shot but Hannah Vandersluis made a good save to keep it 1-0. It had been a thoroughly competitive game from the start as expected and the half wore on United seemed to getting slightly more of the possession, though only made a few further half chances.

City's best spell came in the last five minutes of the half, Sarah Middleton headed an equaliser from a corner kick and Lucy Smith's shot forced Houldsworth into a save just before the break.

United found another gear in the second half and were soon pushing to restore the lead. United probably should have gone ahead when Kenyon's shot was saved and Marsden scooped the rebound over but the home side were getting players into the City box and this pressure soon paid off.

Brown's low shot was parried and Shaw slid in to restore United's advantage on 50 minutes. It was almost a repeat 12 minutes later when Marsden's shot was parried and Shaw was again in the right place to make it 3-1.

The Blades were playing some great football in all departments and increased their lead after 77 minutes when Shaw slotted the ball passed Vandersluis to complete a memorable hat-trick.

City had their best chance when Houldsworth touched a shot off the underside of her bar but otherwise United gave City little sight of a way back. Back at the other end, Sophie Bell hit City's crossbar as United kept pressing. The finale was Kenyon firing a great shot from outside of the box to make it 5-1 against her old club with three minutes left. This capped off a memorable quality performance against decent and determined opposition.

The three points takes United to fifth leapfrogging City and this Sunday (24th) travel to Wolverhampton University to play Sporting Khalsa for the first time.

Blades: Houldsworth, Froggatt, Neary, Hartley, Bell, Ashton (Beanland), Spurr, Brown (Hickerman), Kenyon, Shaw (Marshall), Marsden.


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