Lewes 0 – 2 Sheffield United
It was a disappointing afternoon at The Dripping Pan, as a brace from Sheffield United top goal scorer Katie Wilkinson won all three points for the Blades.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors on two minutes, as a header at the near post was sent high and wide of Laura Hartley’s goal.
On six minutes Ellie Noble did well in the midfield to beat her marker. She laid it off to Megan Mackey who tried to find Sammy Quayle bursting down the right wing, but she put too much on her pass and it went out of play.
Five minutes later the Lewes number eight played a good ball down the line to Sophie O’Rourke who won the Rooks a corner. Mackey played it in, but the Blades were able to clear.
Rhian Cleverly had to react quickly on 18 minutes as a short pass nearly allowed the Sheffield United attacker to nick the ball and be in on goal. However, the Lewes captain did well to get there first and clear.
The visitors eventually found the opener on 28 minutes. A dangerous cross was played into the area by Bex Rayner and Katie Wilkinson was there to head it in and put the Blades ahead.
Sheffield United continued with the pressure after the opener and three minutes later had a free-kick on the edge of the Lewes area.The ball was only half cleared by the Rooks and was eventually turned in by the attacker, but the whistle had been blown for offside.
Rhema Lord-Mears then went close for Sheffield as she cut in from the right wing and fired her shot narrowly over.
The post came to the rescue for the Rooks at the start of the second half as Ellie Hack intercepted a low cross and nearly turned it into her own net.
Ini Umotong came on for her Lewes debut on 58 minutes as she replaced Simran Jhamat.
Just after the hour mark, Sheffield United doubled their lead. Wilkinson was fouled just outside the Lewes area. The Blades’ number nine stepped up to take the free-kick and fired low into the far corner.
The Rooks had a free-kick in a similar position on the Blades’ area minutes later, but Mackey’s attempt was straight into the wall.
Another new signing came on for her debut on 71 minutes as Lucy Ashworth-Clifford took to the pitch.
Going into the closing stages and Sheffield United thought they had a third, but the flag was raised again to deny Courtney Sweetman-Kirk.
The referee eventually blew his whistle for full-time making it the first loss of 2021 for Lewes, meaning they currently sit seventh in the table.
Lewes: Hartley, Quayle (Cousins 87), Cleverly (C), Hack, O’Rourke, Lane (Leek 71), Noble, Rood, Mackey (Ashworth-Clifford 71), Timms (Donovan 87), Jhamat (Umotong 58)
Subs not used: Saunders, Jones, Savva
Sheffield United: Kitching, Rolandsen, Hartley, Little (C), N Johnson, Lipka, Cusack, Lord-Mears (Walton 83), Rayner (Pennock 72),Wilkinson, Sweetman-Kirk
Subs not used: Flaherty, Dixon, Matthews, Watson, M Johnson
Goals: Wilkinson 28, 62