Sheffield United Women held Women’s Super League side Manchester City to a 1-1 draw following a late equaliser at the Academy Stadium in Manchester.
The 7,000 capacity Academy Stadium was used for three Group D matches in the recent UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, although this friendly was played behind closed doors.
Neil Redfearn’s Blades side played an impressive performance against Gareth Taylor’s (formerly with Sheffield United), a strong City side which included Sandy MacIver, Esme Morgan, Steph Houghton, Alanna Kennedy, Laura Coombs, Vicky Losada, Hayley Raso, Mary Fowler and Julie Blakstad, in the side to face United.
Manchester City Women 1-1 Sheffield United Women
Thursday, 4th August 2022
It was to be expected that the Blades would withstand home pressure in the early exchanges which United warned off until the half-hour mark when a laps in concentration allowed Vicky Losada to curl the ball home in a splendid fashion.
It was a rare lap which cost United dearly. Still, from then on, the United Women defended stoutly, putting in a workmen-like effort to ensure that keeper Nina Wilson had a relatively easy afternoon.
United did have an opportunity on the City goal before the break as Grace Riglar attempted to flick Sophie Barker’s free-kick at goal before failing to make a clean connection.
Around the hour mark, Redfearn made several changes which included Bethan Davies, Rhema Lord-Mears and Maria Francis-Jones, all entering the field. City too made substitutions, but it was at this point that United grew stronger in the game. Following a good ball from Riglar, Lord-Mears struggled to bring down the ball to force an opportunity on goal.
The final 20 minutes saw Georgia Walters, Tamara Wilcock and Mia Enderby brought onto the field of play, giving United some fresh legs. With a few minutes to spare, United grabbed an equaliser after Enderby charged onto Lord-Mears through ball, rounded keeper Khiara Keating and skilfully dispatched into the City goal.
Sheffield United almost grabbed a winner after the goal scorer found herself in another one-on-one situation but an offside flag spared City any blushes. However, City had one final say before the final referee’s whistle after substitute keeper Davies pushed a City effort over the crossbar.
Manchester City Women: MacIver, Morgan, Houghton, Kennedy, Ramsden, Coombs, Raso, Fowler, Pullen, Losada, Blakstad
Sheffield United Women: N. Wilson (Davies 61), Newsham, Barker, Hartley, Riglar, Sweetman-Kirk (Walters 67), Cusack (Enderby 75), Rayner (Wilcock 71), Paul, Haywood (Lord-Mears 61), Docherty (Francis-Jones 61). Unused: Brown.