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Match Reports

London City Lionesses 1-4 United Women - report

6 September 2020

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Sheffield United Women cruised to an impressive 4-1 win away at London City Lionesses on the opening day of the new FA Women's Championship season.

Two goals from forward duo Jade Pennock and Katie Wilkinson allowed the Blades to see out the final half an hour in what was an almost perfect opening game for new head coach Neil Redfearn.

The new boss handed debuts to Fran Kitching, Ellie Wilson and Mel Johnson but the Blades had to work their way into a game which saw few chances early on.

Efforts from distance from Veatriki Sarri and Rhema Lord-Mears signalled intent as the Blades gradually gained control of the match.

Just after Wilkinson hit the post, good work from Johnson set up Pennock who promptly slopped home her first of the season.

Johnson herself was denied by a good save before the hosts equalised after the break when Freda Ayisi curled past Kitching from the edge of the box.

A stunning Chloe Dixon block denied a complete turnaround, and the visitors used that as motivation to put the game to bed with three goals in 10 minutes.

Pennock took advantage of a defensive mix-up to tap home a second before turning provider for Wilkinson who headed home her first of the afternoon and the season.

The Blades number nine created her second, running in behind and winning a penalty which she stepped up and slotted home into the corner.

There was a debut off the bench for Sophie Walton while Ali Johnson also made her return to the team, and Redfearn was delighted with how his side performed.

"We were excellent against a decent opponent. They gave us problems at times but we were resolute and I thought it was a really good away performance.

We really got on the front foot after they equalised, it was a great reaction and superb in the end. I was really pleased with the unsung roles in the team too. I thought Naomi Hartley was excellent playing midfield and our two centre-backs were great, Ellie Wilson was outstanding on her debut and Fran made a couple of really good saves and deserved a clean sheet.

I was always aware of what Wilkinson and Pennock could do from seeing them last season and really they've just picked up the mantle. That understanding they have is there for everyone to see.

You can only beat what's in front of you and I think we've beaten a really decent side today. It was a good game of football, both sides played their part and in the end it's an excellent result for us."

Blades: Kitching, Wilson, Little, Hartley, Lipka, Pennock (Matthews 81), Wilkinson, Dixon, Lord-Mears (Walton 65), Sarri, M. Johnson (A. Johnson 57).
Unused subs: Batty, Watson, Docherty.

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