Sheffield United Women leave it late to snatch win against Blackburn Rovers

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Sheffield United Women ended their league season with a last-gasp win thanks to Jade Pennock’s stoppage-time header which sealed a 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers.

In a scrappy encounter which saw both sides struggle to create too many meaningful opportunities, it was Pennock who rose highest with the clock ticking down to head home Maddy Cusack’s corner.

Blackburn had an early chance to go ahead when Ocean Rolandsen committed a foul inside the box, but Fran Kitching made her second penalty save in as many games to deny Elise Hughes from the spot with just a minute gone.

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United looked to capitalise on their early escape, with Katie Wilkinson hitting the bar before scoring the opener moments later when she brought down Nat Johnson’s cross and fired home.

Nat Johnson of Sheffield Utd.Nat Johnson of Sheffield Utd.
Nat Johnson of Sheffield Utd.

The first half brought few clear chances beyond that, but Rovers came out fighting after the break and equalised when Aimee Hodgson fired home off the crossbar despite the best efforts of Kitching to keep it out.

Neil Redfearn’s side responded well and piled on the late pressure, with Pennock eventually settling the game at the death with a header to snatch the victory.

Sheffield United Women head coach Neil Redfearn said: “It was good to get the win. It was a tough game, we didn't start well, we had to start quicker and I thought we were good in the first half once we got going. It was good to get the late goal, Jade's done really well to get on Maddy's cross and it's a good way to end the season.

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“Maddy's deliveries were top class, they have been all season and we could have scored from a few more today. I'm delighted for Wilko too to end the season as a top scorer again, it's a top class achievement, she's been great for us and it's really well deserved.”

The Blades end the season in fourth place in the Women’s Championship, one point below Liverpool in third.

Reflecting on his first full season in charge, Redfearn said: “I'm pleased with how we've progressed, that's the main thing, now we want to push on next season and keep moving forwards because this league is only going to get tougher.”

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