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Women return to action against Blackburn

22 February 2020

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Sheffield United Women return to the Proact Stadium this Sunday for their first match in a month as Carla Ward's side host Blackburn Rovers at 1pm.

The Blades were originally due to face Lewes but with the south coast side facing a rearranged Women's FA Cup tie against Arsenal, the match against Rovers was moved forward from April 26th to ease the fixture congestion the Blades are likely to face at the end of the season.

With a game scheduled for the start of this month against Crystal Palace already pushed back and a trip to Charlton postponed last time out, the Blades will hopefully be able to get back to action and put to bed a frustrating January which saw the side lose three of their four matches.

It will only the second home league encounter of 2020 following on from defeat to Aston Villa at the start of January, with only FA WSL sides Manchester City and Birmingham City coming to the Proact in the seven weeks since that match.

With a relatively fully fit side after such a break, manager Ward says her team are raring to go ahead of Sunday's game.

"It's always frustrating when you have so many weeks off but the girls have been putting the work in and are ready to get back at it on Sunday."

The fixture marks the start of a busy seven-game run-in over the next two months which will determine whether or not the Blades get promoted to the FA WSL at the end of the season.

While defeat to Villa but the league leaders in pole position, Durham's cancelled game at London Bees at least gives the Blades a chance to return to second in the league with a result tomorrow and Ward hasn't given up hope of winning the league yet.

"We don't feel it's over just yet. We need to do our bit and hope results go our way and the focus now is all about us getting maximum points to keep the pressure on."

Ward has largely a fully fit squad to choose from bar goalkeeper Becky Flaherty who will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on a hip issue earlier this week.

Opponents Blackburn sit seventh in the Championship, 21 points behind the Blades and while only four points clear of the bottom, Gemma Donnelly's side do have games in hand on the teams below them.

Sunday's meeting will be the third times the side have met with Ward's side coming out on top on both previous occasions.

United came from behind in September to win 3-2 thanks to goals from Chloe Dixon, Katie Wilkinson and Jade Pennock, while Wilkinson and Pennock were again among the goals in a 4-1 Continental Cup win in November, with Sam Tierney picking up her first senior Blades goal during the same encounter.


Tickets are priced at £5 adults, £3 concessions and free for Sheffield United season ticket holders. Tickets originally purchased for the game against Lewes will also be eligible on Sunday. Tickets can be bought on the gate.


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