When Charlton travelled to New Ferens Park at the beginning of the season, I was surprised by how they had developed into a good side. I had never seen Sheffield United Women before today, but I had noticed they had beaten Tottenham in their last game. You just have to look at their squad to see they have a decent team. There are numerous ex Doncaster Rovers Belles players in the squad who have won this league, and other talented players such as Ebony Salmon. This was my 138th game of the season and that puts me just three behind what I finished last season on. My 141st game of this season will be Easington Colliery vs Willington on Thursday night. I write this just before the horse I have a share in, Lassana Angel, runs at Stratford. She’s in the 16:20 and has drifted since last night, but we’re hopeful of a decent run from her.
Durham Women defeat by Sheffield United
Sheffield United Women claimed an impressive 1-2 win away at Durham Women on Sunday afternoon.
Danielle Cox put the visitors ahead, and Jade Pennock doubled Sheffield’s lead in the 69th minute.
Durham were down to 10 following Becky Salicki’s red card, but they halved the deficit through Beth Hepple with 15 minutes to play.
However, it wasn’t enough as the visitors held on for the win.
Durham did have the first chance as a Hepple half volley dipped wide, but Sheffield United were the better team in the first half.
Salmon forced a save from Hannah Reid for the visitors in the ninth minute, before a short spell of pressure from the visitors came to nothing.
Hepple had another effort that forced a routine save from Fran Bentley, but the visitors took the lead in the 16th minute. A free-kick wasn’t dealt with by Durham, and it fortunately fell to Cox who prodded home.
Durham went in search of an instant response, and it almost came in the 20th minute. Good work from Emily Roberts picked out Nicki Gears, but her effort darted wide.
An extended quiet period then followed, but the visitors seemed in control.
Salmon fired wildly over for the South Yorkshire outfit in the 39th minute, before the Wildcats had a superb chance to pull level. A ball through the middle beat the Sheffield defence and played Gears in, but Bentley made herself big and produced a fine save.
Salicki then had a chance for the hosts. She rose to meet Lisa Robertson’s corner, but her header was straight at Bentley.
The Wildcats had created chances in the first half, but in truth, they were second best.
Following the break, Robertson fired harmlessly over for Durham inside two minutes, before Salmon’s effort at the other end forced an easy save from Reid.
In the 53rd minute, Sheffield should have doubled their lead. Pennock was through on goal, but she opted to pass to the blatantly offside Salmon and the chance was gone.
Salicki then went close as she headed wide at the other end, before Abby Holmes’ difficult effort at the back post was saved.
Durham’s task became even harder when Salicki was sent off on the hour mar. It was for bringing down Salmon as she charged down on goal. Sarah Wilson was possibly covering Salicki, but referee Jamie Cann opted for the red card.
Reid then saved to prevent both Ellie Gilliatt and Salmon, before the visitors doubled their lead in the 69th minute. Pennock cut in from the wing and a fortunate bounce saw her get past Holmes. She looked up before drilling an effort into the near post to put the visitors in total control.
From this point onwards, Durham were definitely the better team, but it was it proved to be too late.
After Wilson had fired well wide, the Wildcats were given an indirect free-kick for a back pass. It was around 15 yards out, and Ness laid it off to Hepple who curled a lovely effort into the top corner to half the deficit.
Durham huffed and puffed late on as Sheffield just defended.
Zoe Ness had a penalty shout turned down, and a couple of efforts drifted wide.
Robertson had an effort saved in the last minute, and Sheffield saw it out to claim an impressive win.
Full-time: Durham Women 1-2 Sheffield United Women
Next up for me is Brandon United vs Easington Colliery tomorrow.
Durham Women: Reid, Hill, Holmes (Christon, 70′), Wilson (c), Salicki, Robson, Robertson, Hepple, Roberts, Cottam (Ness, 55′), Gears
Unused subs: Borthwick, Elliott, Greenwood
Sheffield United Women: Bentley, Barker, Tierney, Pennock, Cox, Gilliatt (c), Rayner (Paul, 80′), Barker, Cusack (Sarri, 89′), Hartley, Salmon
Unused sub: Marsden
Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions
Teamsheet: Free with programme
Referee: Jamie Cann