Sheffield United Women fire SEVEN past Leicester City
Kate Wilkinson and Aimee Palmer both bagged doubles as Sheffield United cruised to their first three points of the FA Women’s Championship season with a dominant display against Leicester City.
Four goals inside the opening 25 minutes set them on their way, while another three saw the score end 7-1 in favour of Carla Ward’s side.
It took just 90 seconds for the onslaught to start when Sophie Barker’s corner found its way into the corner of the net and it was the start for a long afternoon for the Foxes.
Striker Kate Wilkinson scored the next two. The first a rebound into the corner after Olivia Fergusson had been denied on the line before Wilkinson hammered home from the edge of the box after some good play down the right.
Debutant Aimee Palmer added the next one after a quick break up field. Veatriki Sarri’s superb pass across field was taken down by the Manchester United loanee and fired into the roof of the net.
Sarri got in on the act herself in first half stoppage time when Leandra Little’s header hit a hand, and the Greek winger stepped up to slot the ball into the bottom corner to cap a superb first half from the Blades.
Annabel Blanchard came closest to a consolation when the game restarted but she was denied by Becky Flaherty, before two quickfire goals but the seal on a dominant performance from United.
Fergusson scored her second in as many games after being slipped in by Palmer, before the midfielder topped off a brilliant debut with a free-kick from 25-yards which went underneath the goalkeeper.
Lachante Paul did pull back a late consolation for Leicester with a curling effort from the edge of the box, but it was the Blades who strolled to the three points.
Two-goal Palmer said United brought the positives taken from last week’s narrow defeat to Aston Villa into theit first home game of the new season.
“I'm buzzing with that start obviously but it's the team and the three points that matters the most," she said. “We didn't get off to the greatest start last weekend so I'm just happy to get out on the pitch and help the team where I can.
"The conditions were really difficult but I thought we managed the game really well. I think the girls will be really happy with how we did but also happy that it's over!
“I think today we brought confidence from last week. We lost but we were 2-0 up so we had to bring that into this game, plus we had some really good analysis sessions during the week and good training sessions and that helped us get the win today.
“It's all good scoring seven but we wanted a clean sheet too, that's what we said at half-time. But at the end of the day it's three points and a convincing performance and that's all that matters. Even in training, we're bringing things from there on to the pitch and I think the team is starting to gel now.”
Sheffield United: Flaherty; Fletcher, Little, Hartley, Sarri; Barker, Cusack, Palmer; Fergusson, Wilkinson, Matthews
Substitutes: Dixon for Wilkinson 40, Johnson for Matthews 53, Pennock for Fergusson 62
Substitutes not used: Batty, Paul, Ford, Tinsley
Leicester City: Charlton-Burgess; James, Morgan, Nuttall, Johnson; Thomas, Everett, Jhamat; Dugmore; Blanchard, Paul
Substitutes: Brown for Nuttall 46, Smith for Thomas 46, Cataldo for Jhamat
Substitutes not used: Moncaster, Bailey-Gayle, Taylor, Popple
Referee: Lucy Oliver
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