Ladies Start New Year With Trip To Guiseley
The only match in the FA Women's National League Northern Premier division this week-end involves two teams who are hoping for a significantly improved second half of their 2018/19 season.
Guiseley Vixens currently sit two places and four points ahead of Sheffield, with both clubs conscious of their proximity to the foot of the table.
The two sides met just two months ago with Guiseley taking home all three points thanks to a winner four minutes from time in a 2-1 result at the Home of Football stadium. It was a dramatic second half which saw Sheffield goalkeeper Liz Hobson shown a straight red card, substitute Lauren Santoro save the subsequent penalty, before Guiseley substitute Ellie Casper's late winner.
Since then - which was Guiseley's last league match - Vixens have had successive easy wins in the West Riding County Cup, but were knocked out of the SSE Women's FA Cup at the hands of Derby County.
Sheffield too succumbed to Midlands opposition in the FA Cup, losing to Nottingham Forest 3-2 after twice going ahead, and have suffered three straight defeats in the league, most recently losing to fellow strugglers Doncaster Rovers Belles.
That has necessitated change at Sheffield with manager Kyle O'Reilly stepping aside, leaving assistant manager Chris Hames to take the reins for Sheffield's last match before Christmas: a third round away win over Hepworth United in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Women's Challenge Cup.
There have been a few other changes in staff and players, with more likely to follow in the coming weeks, all necessary to change the recent run of results and start getting points back on the board.
Hames gives his view of the forthcoming match this week-end: "
“We have used the break well - it's given us an opportunity to re-assess, re-evaluate, and put in the work on the training pitch, but we're now ready to get back into action this week-end."
"Points are vital for us now - there's no hiding from that, but all that does is free us up to play the sort of football Sheffield has been built on. We'll look to get the ball down, look to attack, and attack again, and through it all we'll do it together as one team, and enjoy it!"
This Sunday's match kicks off at the slightly later time of 2:30pm at West Riding County FA, LS26 8NX. Tickets available on the day priced £5 and £3.