Report: Lasses earn hard-fought point against Blades

The points were shared at Eppleton as Sunderland Women played out a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United Women in the Barclays Women’s Championship.


Mia Enderby gave the Blades the lead in the 17th minute.


After a much-improved second-half performance, Abbey Joice made it two goals from two games as she equalised in the 68th minute.


The visitors enjoyed the majority of the possession in the first half. Brianna Westrup made a crucial sliding challenge in the box to deny a chance.


United found the breakthrough as Bex Rayner found Enderby on the right side, with the 17-year-old smashing a shot past Claudia Moan.


The main chance Sunderland could muster in the first half fell to Jessica Brown, who met a cross with her head, but the chance was caught by Fran Stenson.


Courtney Sweetman-Kirk almost doubled Sheffield’s lead at the end of the half, poking a shot wide of the near post.


Liz Ejupi entered the pitch as the focal point up front in the second half, replacing Jessica Brown, and the striker released Emily Scarr down the right, but the latter’s shot went wide.


Despite the improvement from Mel Reay’s side, Sheffield were denied a second goal through heroics from Moan. The first shot crashed off the post, the second from Rayner was saved and the rebound from Enderby was expertly stopped once again.


Minutes later, Enderby found herself through again, but once again, Moan was on hand to thwart the chance and keep Sunderland in the game.


Moan’s exemplary saves proved crucial as the Lasses equalised half-way through the second half. Ejupi held the ball up really well and slotted a pass through to Joice, who ran through and curled a shot round the ‘keeper in composed fashion.


Sheffield United did threaten from two corners in the last few minute’s of the game, but the Lasses held on and dealt with the danger to hold onto the point.


The Lasses are now on 17 points with five games to go as they prepare to face Charlton next week on the road.


SAFC Women: Moan, Beer, Herron, Westrup, Morgan, Kelly ©, D.Brown, Joice, J.Brown (Ejupi 46’), Watson, Scarr.


Substitutes: Cowling, Borthwick, Ede, McInnes, McCatty, McPartlan, Thompson, Mallaburn.

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