Sheffield United: Manager Carla Ward believes her side are “learning to win ugly” after another late win over Leicester City in FA Women’s Championship

Manager Carla Ward believes her Sheffield United Women’s side are “learning to win ugly” after Jade Pennock scored her second last-minute winner in a week to down Leicester City in the FA Women’s Championship on Sunday.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 3:29 pm
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 1:15 pm

Pennock, who netted the late decisive goal in last weekend’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, again struck in the dying moments of the game at Farley Way, turning home a corner after Ellie Gilliatt had cancelled out Hayley James’ opener for the Foxes.

The victory moved Ward’s side up to fifth in the table, a point clear of London Bees having played two games less.

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Carla Ward manager of Sheffield Utd: Harry Marshall/Sportimage

And the Blades boss said: “I said to them at the end, that wasn’t our best performance by a stretch but the fact is they’re learning to win ugly and they found a way to win.

“At 1-0 down with 15 minutes to go you could see the mentality in them that they didn’t want to lose the game and they’ve done everything they can to do it – I can’t fault them.

“We set targets and we’re going towards where we want to be. We’re happy with three wins from three, the girls deserve it because they’re finding a way to win games. If we’d played like this earlier in the season we’d have lost, but they have that belief now they can win.”

In a first half low on chances, Ebony Salmon fired over with the first chance of the game before Demi Lambourne in the home goal held two long-range efforts from Pennock.

Leicester's best chance of the game came early in the second half when striker Mel Johnson rounded Blades goalkeeper Fran Bentley, but Sam Tierney made a vital block.

The breakthrough came when James headed home a corner, before Gilliatt levelled the scores with a stunning strike from outside the box.

Salmon almost put United in front when she struck a post, before Pennock sparked jubilant scenes with a late winner.

“There were a few stern words at half-time because I felt it was a bit lacklustre but we knew Leicester were there for the taking,” Ward added.

“We go to Durham next but we’re not going to fear anyone. The girls have to go and enjoy themselves between now and the end of the season, show people what you can do and at the moment they’re doing exactly that.”

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