Sheffield United Women: 'Villa defeat won't define our season' says goalscorer Olivia Fergusson
Olivia Fergusson, the Sheffield United Women forward, insists Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Aston Villa won’t be allowed to define her side’s season.
The former Villa striker scored United’s opening goal before Carla Ward’s side went 2-0 up.
But a hat-trick on debut from Villa's Melissa Johnson turned the game on its head and ended United’s seven-game winning run – which dated back to end of last season.
And Fergusson said: “Obviously I’m pleased to get the goal, it’s good to get on the scoresheet early in the season and get some confidence.
“But the result is the most important thing and I’m absolutely gutted for the girls to go 2-0 up and lose the game.
“We went into half-time still winning the game and I don’t think Villa’s first goal mattered at all.
“We were confident that we were still going to win the game at that point but, credit to Villa, they threw everything at us.
“They were losing so tactically they changed their gameplan and changed formation, which changed the momentum of the game.
“We’ll learn from it. We know we’re so much better than we were today. It doesn’t define anything for the season and it’s early days. We’ve got loads to play for.”
United’s Katie Wilkinson, another former Villa player, scored United’s second goal, after winning and converting a penalty in the 22nd minute. Wilkinson set up Fergusson’s opener.
“I’ve played together with Katie for a long time,” Fergusson said.
“We complement each other and I’m really happy to be playing with her again.”
Villa midfielder Amy West said: “We always knew it was going to be a tough game – it always is against Sheffield.
“These are the sorts of games you need to win if you want to get promotion. We had to dig deep and work hard.
“They battered us to start with. We didn’t come out of the blocks quick enough and it took us to make a few tweaks in formation, then we gained control of the game.”