Look Local Stadium
8/09/2018 5:00 pm
|Salicki 55, Roberts 90|
Sheffield United Women were defeated by two goals to nil by Durham on the opening day of the Championship season.
The Blades Women have already begun their 2018-19 season with a victory at Aston Villa and a defeat at Bristol City – both were in the Continental Cup.
Yesterday’s game, which was played at Stocksbridge Park Steels Look Local Stadium was the venue for the Blades Women’s first league encounter of the season. They lost 2-0 with second half goals from Becky Salicki and Emily Roberts but the hosts put up a brave fight but struggled to create clear cut chances.
Blades boss Carla Ward welcomed back captain Ellie Gilliat to the XI.
The first half went in scoreless but it was the visitors who had created the better chances in the first 45 minutes. Blades Ellie Fletcher cleared Emily Roberts effort off the line and Rachel Lee missed her opportunity to shine, slicing her effort wide from the edge of the area.
United came into the second half a much improved outfit but struggled to break down a difficult Wildcats side. Sam Tierney struck a half-volley over the bar before, on 55 minutes the visitors took the lead. The United defence struggled to deal with Beth Hepple’s flicked on cross and SALICKI rose highest to head home.
The hosts responded well and through substitute Alethea Paul drove in a low cross which saw Durham keeper Hannah Reid palm clear and Chloe Dixon lobbed her effort just wide of the goal.
Deep into stoppage time the Blades tried desperately to snatch an opening day point and substitute Tania Marsden came close but her looping header landed on the roof of the net.
It was Durham who had the last say and sealed all three points with a match winner to double their lead. Keeper Nikki Davies saved a low shot from Nicki Gears but the ball fell loosely to ROBERTS who curled home into an empty net.
Sheffield United Women: Davies, Barker, Cox, Fletcher, Gilliatt, Tierney, Pennock (Ford 89), Rayner, Merrick (Marsden 71), Dixon, Cresswell (Paul 61) Unused: Kemp, Stevens, Ryan.
Durham Women: Reid, Hil (Holmes)l, Wilson, Robson, Hepple (Knott), Ness, Salicki, Roberts, Cottam (Gears), Hill, Lee. Unused: Borthwick