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Match Reports

United Women 2-2 Coventry - report

11 December 2019

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Sheffield United Women booked their spot in the Continental Cup quarter-finals for the first time despite a penalty shootout defeat.

With the Blades trailing 2-0 with just a point needed to progress, a double from Katie Wilkinson, the latter of which came in the 87th minute, sealed the one point that was needed.

A penalty shootout defeat meant a nervy wait for the Aston Villa result to see if top spot had been secured and a home quarter-final, with the FA Women's Championship league leaders not finding the extra goals they needed to go above Carla Ward's side.

In truth, United could only blame themselves for falling behind after largely dominating the ball but they just couldn't put it in the back of the net.

The Blades started on the front foot with Wilkinson in particular having several good chances with her head before the visitors took the lead with their first attack on the half hour mark.

Shannon O'Brien's lobbed effort beat Emily Batty and went in off the post and left the Blades chasing the game.

Aimee Palmer curled a free-kick just over before Ward introduced Jade Pennock and Olivia Fergusson off the bench for the second half.

The hosts continued to push but were either thwarted by good goalkeeping or resolute defending, and disaster struck when Helen Dermody slid home a cross with 25 minutes to go to double the deficit.

It left United needing two goals to secure qualification, the first of those coming just moments later when Wilkinson swept home a cross from close range.

The Blades then lay siege to the Coventry goal, Palmer seeing an effort deflected wide, Alethea Paul saw a volley saved before Wilkinson went closest of all when her lobbed effort clipped the post and went wide.

It felt like one of those days until Wilkinson stepped up just in the nick of time and bent home a superb free-kick with just minutes to go to earn United the point they needed.

With the game settled on penalties, Wilkinson, Palmer and Pennock all missed, leaving Paul's solo effort not enough to take the bonus point, but it didn't stop United securing a home quarter-final against either Reading, Brighton or holders Manchester City.

Blades: Batty, Barker, Tierney, Hartley, Lipka (Cusack 61), Wilkinson, Paul, Dixon (Fergusson 46), Matthews (Pennock 46), Palmer, Sarri.
Unused: Flaherty.

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