Sheffield United Women 4 Aston Villa Ladies 1: Sophie Jones hat trick secures big win on first Bramall Lane outing

Sheffield United Women goalscorer Alethea Paul
Sheffield United Women goalscorer Alethea Paul

Sheffield United Women marked their first Championship game at Bramall Lane by picking up their first points of the season with a comfortable win over Aston Villa.

Sophie Jones scored a hat trick for the Blades with Alethea Paul converting a penalty.

And hat trick hero Jones put the triumph down to the ruthlessness in front of goal they have lacked in other games this term.

“I think in other games we haven't take them and we put that right today,” she said.

“We have done a lot of hard work in training and had a hard run, so we will go on and get stronger from here. 

“We have to keep it going, keep the hard work going in training keep the pressure on and don’t slack off.

“We know how we can play and we have done that here today, keep pressing and working as a team.

I think we played well and kept the pressure on.

“In the beginning we were a bit off with our blocking but we came together 20 minutes in and got better in the second half, and I can't complain getting a hat-trick!

“I would call it a team performance.

“I run until I can't run anymore.

“We need to take our chances like we have today.”

Jones rifled home Sheffield’s opener from the edge of the penalty area just four minutes in after a defensive mix-up from Villa.

Both sides looked likely to score given their leaky defences, and Sheffield’s defence suffered a blow as Lisa Ryan was stretchered off in the opening 10 minutes.

Injuries continued to mount up for the home side as Bex Rayner also had to be replaced within the opening half an hour.

Striker Welsh equalised for Villa in the 19th minute after a mistake from the Sheffield defence, calmly slotting past Alex Brooks in the Blades goal.

But Villa’s poor start to the season continued as Paul converted a penalty before half-time after Sophie Barker was felled in the area by Elisha N’Dow.

United’s class showed in the second half as Villa began to tire, as Jones got her second, cutting in from the left to curl a shot into the top corner, before she got her hat-trick in the 74th minute, slotting home from close range.

Sheffield United: (4-4-1-1): Brooks, Fletcher, Cox, Ryan (Barker 9), Gilliatt, Barker, Tierney, Pennock, Paul (Cresswell 67), Rayner (Dixon 25), Jones. Subs not used: Joyce, Kemp, Marsden, Stevens, Merrick

Aston Villa (3-5-2): Aguirre, Gane, N’Dow, Richards, Gibson, Hassall (West 59), Hanssen, Warner (Smith 75), Haywood (Hall 68), Welsh, Hutton. Subs not used: Asmita, Elsmore, Rogers, Brown

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