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Match Reports

United Women 1-0 Durham - report

24 November 2019

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Sheffield United Women found a late winner in spectacular fashion as Aimee Palmer scored her second superb strike in the space of four days to earn the Blades a big three points against Durham.

Just over 60 hours after the sides met in the Continental Cup on Thursday night, Carla Ward's side never hit the heights of Thursday's performance but showed real character to nick the points with 10 minutes remaining.

Katie Wilkinson, Olivia Fergusson and Maddy Cusack all returned to the starting eleven but it took some time for United to find their rhythm as both sides looked to ease their way into the game.

A succession of corners and crosses from the visitors amounted to little until Beth Hepple saw an effort deflected just wide and Becky Flaherty did well to palm ahead a header from the resulting corner.

It took 40 minutes for the Blades to create an opening when Cusack nicked the ball back high up the pitch and Wilkinson opened up the room for Jade Pennock who was denied by a good save from Megan Borthwick.

Ward was forced into a change at the break with Veatriki Sarri replacing Chloe Dixon and United came out with more intent after the break, both Fergusson and Cusack seeing efforts blocked right in front of goal in a matter of seconds.

But less than two minutes later Durham should have been in front. Iris Achterhof stole the ball off Naomi Hartley and ran clean through on goal but was denied by strong hands from Flaherty to push the ball over the bar.

Achterhof later went into the book for a trip on Fergusson as the Blades countered three v two as both teams went all out for what would be a crucial winner.

It came with 11 minutes to remaining and it came critically for the hosts. Palmer picked the ball up outside the box and unleashed a stunner into the top corner which left Borthwick with no chance.

The hosts showed huge character to hold out for the remaining 10 minutes and a result which now moves them ahead of London City Lionesses into second ahead of the trip to Dartford next weekend.

Blades: Flaherty, Barker, Tierney, Little, Hartley, Pennock, Cusack, Wilkinson (Lipka 72), Dixon (Sarri 46), Palmer, Fergusson.
Unused subs: Batty, Paul, Matthews.

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