Blades draw a blank
Setting the pace as the home side from the off, Sheffield saw plenty of the ball, getting up to attack time and again. However, a lack of clear striker left the forward thrusts directionless, Ellie Gilliatt, Bex Rayner, Chloe Dixon and Beth Merrick all with intent in the first 20 minutes yet all without the right touch to find the target.
In a match with more injuries than chances, those on the pitch found themselves floored more often than Demi Lambourne or Alex Brooks had to make a save. The clinical edge missing from the first half, the cynical one hard to avoid. The last notable incident of the first half Merrick’s curled effort that evaded Lambourne before it was frantically cleared off of the line.
The second half brought about more of the same; half chances left untaken and generous helping of injuries. The best chance of the half fell to Merrick late in the game after a foul just outside the box. With Rayner’s free kick having flown over the bar moments before, Merrick’s effort the third shot of the match to ping off of the woodwork.
The match decided late when Rayner’s cross deflected off of a blue shirt to get the better of Lambourne and finally break the deadlock.
On a cold day with little on the pitch to warm the fans, the final product all but shocking from the hosts, the visitors barely present in the match. Rayner and Jade Pennock arguably the best in red and white but only comparatively, the pair well below the standard of the league on the day.
Flying at points this season, it’s hard to see what’s going wrong for Leicester, the Foxes happy to absorb pressure all match long, their attack completely disjointed from their midfield. A late drive not enough for the visitors, with Melissa Johnson isolated for most of the match.
For the hosts it was a case of throwing everything at the wall, hoping something would finally stick. Rayner’s goal with a touch of luck but despite the grinding standard, the hosts were good value for the points, dominating all match but just so blunted in attack.