Blades fight back to beat London City Lionesses

Written by Katya Witney

A tenacious display from Sheffield United Women saw them come back from a goal down to beat London City Lionesses 2-1 at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

The Blades kicked off under bright skies as they looked to continue their run of six league games unbeaten in the FA Women’s Championship.

This match marked the third appearance at the iconic Sheffield ground for United Women this season as the club look to grow and promote the women’s side.

Both teams were aggressive out of the blocks, with neither managing to mount a serious attack on goal in the opening stages of the first half. The most threatening chance came from Sheffield’s Courtney Sweetman-Kirk but her shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Lioness captain Shea Yanez.

As the half progressed the Lionesses grew in confidence and after several minutes of persistent threatening, Carly Girasoli found a way to push the ball past Fran Kitching in goal and put London City 0-1 up in the 20th minute.

The Blades continued to threaten however and Rhema Lord-Mears came agonisingly close to a fantastic goal after taking advantage of a good cross from Sweetman-Kirk but her shot bounced off the crossbar. 

Lionesses’ Jamie-Lee Napier had a chance to put the London side 0-2 up going into halftime but the penalty in the 41st minute was well saved by Kitching falling to her right.

Rhema Lord-Mears came agonisingly close to a fantastic goal after taking advantage of a good cross from Sweetman-Kirk.

After the teams came out after the break, Lionesses challenged immediately but some excellent work from Kitching prevented Atlanta Primus adding to the visitor’s goal tally.

United Women responded superbly to draw level with the Lionesses in the 55th minute courtesy of Sweetman-Kirk connecting with a good low cross from Alethea Paul to give the forward her 10th league goal of the season.

A fabulous strike from Lucy Watson put the Blades ahead ten minutes later, curling the ball past Yanez’s fully stretched right arm, off the crossbar and into the top right hand corner of the net. 

Both sides continued to challenge the other’s defences for the remainder of the half but as the full time whistle blew United Women secured an excellent victory which saw them move up to 6th in the table.

As the full time whistle blew United Women secured an excellent victory.

Speaking after the match, goal scorer Courtney Sweetman-Kirk said: “We are buzzing. It was a really well fought win.

“Three wins in the last three. If we go and win our games towards the end of the season then we can finish quite high and be really proud of what we’ve done.”

On her 10th league goal this season the striker said: “I’m pleased to get on the score sheet. You always make aims before the season so to get into double figures is nice but we have got a few games left before the end of the season so hopefully I can bag a few more as well.”

On playing at Bramall Lane: “It’s massive, in a way you don’t want to make too much out of it and the couple of games we’ve had here this season maybe the occasion got the better of us so it was really nice, third time lucky to come to Bramall lane and finally get the win.”

On Lucy Watson’s goal: “I told Lucy when I got my goal that you’ll get the winner and as much as it’s a great goal I’m equally not surprised because she does it every week in training. She is an unbelievable talent. She’s done it in the games before and I’ve followed it all the way in. If it came off the bar I was ready for the tap in but I’m buzzing for her. For someone of her age she’s got a bright future ahead of her.”

The Blades will be back in action against 10th placed Sunderland Women on Sunday at the Technique Stadium.

Written by Katya Witney

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