Sheffield United Women: Neil Redfearn happy after Crystal Palace draw

Sheffield United Women head coach Neil Redfearn declared himself pleased with a point after the Blades were held to a goalless draw against Crystal Palace.

Sunday, 3rd October 2021, 8:33 pm

Both sides could not be separated Hayes Lane in an FA Women’s Championship game of few clear chances for either side until the few minutes when the clash became increasingly stretched.

It was the Blades who started brightest as Maddy Cusack tested Emily Orman inside five minutes before Jess Clarke volleyed wide at the back post, but Palace almost went ahead when Coral-Jade Haines saw an effort well saved by Fran Kitching and Millie Farrow’s follow-up cleared away.

The game became a bit stop-start with a couple of injury stoppages leading up to half-time, but Orman was again alert to deny Courtney Sweetman-Kirk while Clarke felt she should have had a penalty in first-half stoppage time.

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Neil Redfearn: happy with a point.

It looked like someone would steal the points as the game opened up late on, but the hosts were denied by some brilliant last-ditch defending from a corner in stoppage time before United broke up field and Lucy Watson saw a low effort go agonisingly past the far post.

Redfearn said: “It’s another plus for us and another clean sheet which is massive if you want to get where you’re going to get. I think you have to give them some credit in defence. I said to the girls at the end, ‘you’re not going to steamroll everybody’, but we created enough chances to win the game. But they had a few chances too.

“Fran was great in goal and the two centre-backs were magnificent, different class. Maddy and Kasia were their usual selves in midfield and on another day Lucy could have had one at the end, it’s a great strike and she’s done well to go past her marker, but it’s a good point and I look at it as a good point.

“This isn’t an easy place to come and Palace will beat people, but we’ve kept three clean sheets in a row, unbeaten in four and we can’t grumble at that.”

The result sees the Blades slip to second in the early season table following Durham’s win over Lewes.

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