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Match Preview: All the build-up as Sunderland Ladies travel to Sheffield Utd - Haway The Lasses!

Attention turns to the WSL League Cup this evening, with Sunderland Ladies in action against fellow Championship side Sheffield United in Chesterfield.

Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Thursday 14th October 2021

Sheffield United Women vs Sunderland AFC Ladies

Continental Tyres League Cup

Technique Stadium, 1866 Sheffield Road, Whittington Moor, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 8NZ

Kick-Off: 19:30


Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Online ticket sales have ended, but you can buy yours at the ground before the match.

Highlights: Highlights and a full match replay are available from Friday on the FA Player.

Podcast: Watch out for a post-match reaction on the Roker Report Twitter feed, and Roker Report’s Lasses Podcast Live will be broadcast, as usual, live on Twitter Spaces from 8-9pm BST next Monday. Just go to @RokerReport to listen in.


The build-up...by our new Roker Reporter, Charlotte Patterson

Sunderland played in a 2-0 home defeat to Durham in the league at the weekend. The lasses started off strong in the opening half, creating various opportunities on goal, some well-timed through balls and pushed a strong Durham side back.

However, despite their best efforts, the ladies were unable to sustain Durham’s constant attack and some defensive errors and lapses in concentration cost them the game. Losing

Charlotte Potts to injury at half time also seemed to unsettle Sunderland and they were unable to find their footing and maintain concentration without her calming presence. Emily Scarr did look dangerous during the game, but was unable to capitalise on her opportunities.

Sunderland Ladies v Durham Women - Barclays FA Women’s Championship
Emily Scarr
Photo by Stu Forster - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

At the end of the match, manager Mel Reay spoke to the media to give her thoughts on the game, stating that:

we were good in the first half and grew into the game. We got some good chances and got in behind the Durham defence.

But the gaffer acknowledged that there is still plenty of room for improvement and that it might be a different eleven that takes the field this evening:

we need to take them opportunities and moments in order to go ahead... the side will rest and recover and we’ll likely mix it up with players who didn’t get game time today, getting time to show themselves against Sheffield

Keira Ramshaw had a quiet game by her own standards on Sunday, so if given the game time by manager Mel Reay, she may well be the player which leads the way for her side. But we could see the likes of forwards Eve Blakey and Maria Farrugia given some time to showcase their abilities.

4,100 fans turned up at Bramall Lane on Saturday to see Sheffield United lose to 2-0 to Liverpool women. Despite the support behind them, Sheffield did not get off to the best of starts, with Liverpool opening the scoring after 7 minutes when Charlotte Wardlaw struck the ball outside the box to curl into the net. The in-form Lucy Watson looked to create a spark for her side, but Liverpool defence managed to keep her at bay and Watson was unable to finish her chances.

It was in the 37th minute when Liverpool got their second, when Leanne Kiernan headed the ball into the goal from close range. They almost had the chance to make it 3-0 just before half time, but Blades goalkeeper Fran Kitching made a save and Georgia Robert blocked the rebound on the line.

Tottenham Hotspur Women v Sheffield United Women: Vitality Women’s FA Cup 5th Round
Fran Kitching of Sheffield United
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Whilst Sheffield came out in the second half with more fight and determination, they were unable to make good on their chances, with 17-year-old Lucy Watson again being the one who looked to salvage the game.

Blades manager Neil Redfearn spoke to the media after the game and stated:

I thought we struggled in the first half. We didn’t get our press right and Liverpool made the most of their time on the ball. I thought in the second half, we were much better but we were unable to take our chances.

The manager was also taken aback by the overwhelming support they received in the stands, stating:

It wasn’t our day, but the crowd were tremendous and it was great to see.

Watson, who has also featured for the U19 Lionesses, won player of the month in the FA Women’s Championship for September. With some excellent performances, in which she scored 4 goals and assisted 2 in 3 games for her side.

Sheffield United Women v Liverpool Women - Barclays FA Women’s Championship
Lucy Watson of Sheffield United applauds during the Barclays FA Women’s Championship match between Sheffield United Women and Liverpool Women at Bramall Lane on October 09, 2021 in Sheffield, England.
Photo by George Wood - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

The season so far in stats...

Sunderland AFC Ladies

Sunderland currently sit seventh in the league with 8 points. The side have 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses, whilst they have 0 goal difference, with 6 goals for and 6 goals against.

Sunderland’s stats are certainly more positive when the side play at home, as away their xG for in 0.80, however, they don’t concede as many when they are playing away, with an xG against of 0.72.

Sheffield United Women

The Blades have played 6 games this season, winning 3, drawing 1 and losing 2. They currently sit fifth in the table with 10 points, scoring 9 goals and conceding 5.

As it stands their average xG for and against is actually better when they are playing away. At home their xG for is 0.71, whereas their xG against is 1.45.

The majority of their goals come in the first half, so Sunderland will do well to look at bunkering down early on and attacking them in the second when they are more fatigued.


Head to head...

(All venues, all competitions, including friendlies)
  • Played 1
  • Sunderland Wins: 0
  • Sheffield United Wins: 1
  • Sunderland Goals: 0
  • Sheffield United Goals: 2

First (and last) Time we met... at Sheffield United

Pre-Season Friendly, 23 August, 2021

Sheffield United 2-0 Sunderland

Watson, Lipka


Played for Both... Kasia Lipka

28-year-old Engish midfielder Kasia Lipka, is a player who has spent time with both clubs. Having being born in Sheffield, Lipka spent time in their academy system before joining women’s football pioneers, Doncaster Belles, where she played for eight years.

She joined Sunderland for the 2017-2018 WSL season, achieving 16 appearances for the side, but she soon picked up an injury, which left her out for a year. Kasia returned back to Sheffield in 2019, and has remained there since and established herself as a Championship player. She scored against the Lasses this summer’s friendly match, and may feature in tonight's game too.

Sheffield United Women v Durham Women - Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Lewis Storey - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

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