Women’s football: Rayner decider lifts Blades up to sixth

Bex Rayner on the ball for Sheffield United
Bex Rayner on the ball for Sheffield United

Having played 30% of their scheduled 20 FA Women’s Championship fixtures Sheffield United have a record of 3 wins and 3 defeats.

A second successive 1-0 win, Bex Rayner netting with a deflected effort which looped over Leicester City keeper Demi Lambourne was no less than United deserved on their debut at the Olympic Legacy Park last Sunday.

Victory lifted United to 6th (out of 11) a point behind Leicester with a game in hand.

Rayner, along with Ellie Fletcher and Sam Tierney, form a trio of United players away with England Under-21 training get together.

Meanwhile, two players who were nurtured by United at Youth level, but did not appear for them at senior level are in the England squad for Sunday’s friendly against Sweden at Rotherham’s AESSEAL New York Stadium (1.30pm).

They are Chelsea defender Millie Bright, who was signed from Doncaster Rovers Belles, and Manchester City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.

Ellie White gave Sheffield FC Ladies the lead at home to Guiseley in the FA Women’s National League, but the visitors hit back to snatch victory with a late winner in the Northern Premier Division.

It was the first of four successive games against Yorkshire opposition for Sheffield who visit Hull on Sunday when Belles host Bradford City in a clash between the division’s bottom pair.

Lucy Blackburn was the scorer for Steel City Wanderers in their 7-1 defeat at Birmingham & West Midlands in Midlands Division One.

Sheffield United lost 1-0 at Hull in Reserve Northern Division One.

Sheffield & Hallam Women & Girls League

Krukowski Cup Second Round: AFC Dronfield 0, Dronfield Town 14 (Ella Rossa 4, Izzy Howells 3, Lucy Paley 3, Annabel Davies 2, Ruby Burns, Becky Hill); Doncaster Rovers Foundation 6 (Gemma Harte 3, Jenna McGee, Sophie Scargill, Bradie Wild).

Oughtibridge Development 1 (Brooke Swann); Millmoor Juniors 5 (Chantelle Oxborough 3, Helen Lynskey 2), Worksop Town 1 (Leah Hardy); Sheffield Wednesday Development 3 (Hannah Barden, Leah Hartley, Amber Kelly), Harworth Colliery 0; Sheffield Wednesday Reserves 2 (Beth Awdas, Emily Leonard), Worksop Town Juniors 4 (Beth Gingell 2, Emma Tennant, Zoe Unthank); Thurcroft Miners 1 (Jess Baker), Penistone Church 5 (Charlotte Novak 3, Ellie Haigh, Gabriella Naughton); Wickersley Youth (Olivia Johnson), Socrates 4 (Sophie Shemeld 2, Sally Lowe, Olivia Rhone); Worsbrough Bridge  0, Sheffield United Community Foundation 3 (Monika Charles 2, Vicki Henderson)

Holders Doncaster Rovers Foundation maintained their 100 per cent record for the season as they comfortably progressed to the quarter-finals.

With last season’s beaten finalists Harworth knocked out, Dronfield Town, whose 14-0 win eclipsed their 12-2 at AFC Dronfield in the League in September, are the only other previous finalists remaining in the competition.