Date: 19th August 2018 at 1:18pm
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Sheffield United Women got off to a fantastic start to the season with dramatic 2-1 victory at Aston Villa Ladies in the Continental Cup.

The Blades Women have done well to strengthen there side throughout the summer and have made too many signings to count. Having gone through pre-season undefeated the Bladettes are ready for the forthcoming Championship season.

They must play out a couple of fixtures in the Continental cup prior to their league opener against Durham on 8th September. Next Sunday they travel to Bristol City.

Match winner Marsden hadn’t been on the pitch ten minutes when she was played through by Raynor to calmly finish and win the match for the Blades.

United had started the match well in the early exchanges, and created several opportunities at goal.  Early chances saw Tierney’s half-volley dip just wide before Pennock saw two big chances missed. She poked wide from Paul’s cross and moments later Cresswell’s delivery was put past the post.

On 40 minutes the Blades Women did take a deserved lead as COX headed home Cresswell’s corner.

Villa re-grouped at the break and shortly into the second half they levelled the score. Blades boss Carla Ward was forced to make a change at the break with Sophie Barker making way for Kemp.  On 54 minutes Villa were level as a corner for the hosts was swept home by their new signing HANSSEN from Crackle’s cross.

United responded in good fashion and had Rayner’s header not cannoned off the crossbar then a goal third consecutive goal from a corner would have been scored. Cresswell had provided the delivery.

As both sides began to suffer fatigue it was the fresh legs of Marsden, who had been introduced on 77 minutes in place of Dixon. With five minutes remaining Rayner had won possession in midfield and her ball through the middle was played onto striker MARSDEN. She found space and composure and won the match with a calm finish.

The Blades could have added a further goal in stoppage time but a last-ditch tackle prevented Marsden from doubling her tally. It proved to be the last action of the match as the referee’s whistle sounded a victory for the new look Women’s side.

Sheffield United Women: Davies, S. Barker (Kemp 46), Ryan, Cox, Gilliatt, Tierney, Paul (Merrick 55), Rayner, Dixon (Marsden 77), Pennock, Cresswell. Unused: H. Barker, Stevens, Fletcher