REPORT: Sheffield United Women 0 Blues Women 2
Blues Women earnt a dominant 2-0 win over Sheffield United in the Continental Cup.
Second half goals from substitutes Lucy Staniforth and Shania Hayles sealed all three points for the Blues, while the defence kept their fourth clean sheet of the season.
Coming of the back of two victories, Marc Skinner made six changes to his squad. Summer signing Harriet Scott made her debut for the Blues, slotting into full-back while Connie Scofield and Hannah Hampton started their first games of the campaign.
Sarah Mayling returned to the first team line-up and was immediately involved in the action.
The first chance of the game fell to Blues inside the first six minutes. Emma Follis, returning to the squad after a prolonged injury, crossed the ball from the right looking for Mayling. Lisa Ryan turned the cross onto her own crossbar and out for a corner.
Blues continued to mount pressure on the Sheffield goal with a flurry of corner in quick succession and the attacks were nearly rewarded when the ball looked to have crossed the line. Mayling whipped in a lovely cross and it fell kindly for Arthur, as it crept through a box full of bodies. The Scot took it on the half volley which looked to have crept in, but the linesman waved away the claims.
Arthur then turned provider as she played an inviting ball over the top, which Wellings chased down. She looked to be through on goal, only for Ryan to make a crucial sliding tackle.
The midfielder was at the heart of another chance for Blues. She picked the ball up in space, 25-yards out, and fired it at goal. It crashed off the woodwork, keeping the scores level.
Despite Blues’ numerous chances in the first 45, they went in 0-0.
Wellings was the bright spark in the opening exchanges of the second half and had three chances to put the Blues ahead, before Kerys Harrop set one looping over the bar.
Finally, Blues broke the deadlock after 72 minutes when substitute Lucy Staniforth fired one in from 35-yards out. The midfielder found herself in space in the centre of the park. She picked her spot and watched it sail into the back of the net.
They doubled their advantage shortly after when a corner caused chaos in the Sheffield box but Blues just couldn't get a clinical touch in there. However, it fell perfectly for Hayles who made no doubt about it as she smashed it home for her first goal of the season.
Sheffield United: Nicola Hobbs, Ellie Fletcher, Danielle Cox, Lisa Ryan, Nicole Kemp (Aletha Paul 70’), Jade Pennock, Sophie Barker (Beth Merrick 74’), Sam Tierney (Lauren Cresswell 60’), Bex Rayner, Tania Marsden, Ellie Gilliatt.
Substitutes (not used): Chloe Dixon, Beth Merrick, Jules Draycott.
Blues: Hannah Hampton, Paige Williams, Kerys Harrop, Meaghan Sargeant (Aoife Mannion 62’), Harriet Scott, Marisa Ewers, Connie Scofield, Chloe Arthur, Sarah Mayling (Shania Hayles 78’), Charlie Wellings, Emma Follis (Lucy Staniforth 62’).
Substitutes (not used): Ann Katrin-Berger, Hayley Ladd.
Goals: Lucy Staniforth 62’, Shania Hayles 83’