Sheffield Earn Point From Mid-Table Clash at London Bees
A third match in seven days saw Sheffield FC Ladies bring back a point thanks to a goalless draw from their fixture at London Bees to remain above their hosts on goal difference.
Sheffield took to the road to take on sixth placed London Bees having had two very tough matches against the two clubs who had led the FA WSL2 title race for much of the season, Millwall Lionesses and champions-in-waiting Doncaster Rovers Belles.
After two challenging matches, Sheffield could be forgiven for starting the game at the Hive in slightly subdued fashion, but they could have been behind after just two minutes when Evie Clarke forced Danielle Gibbons into a fine save from inside the box.
Gibbons also had her palms stung by Emma Beckett from distance, and made another save to deny Clarke as the home side dominated the early proceedings against a weary-looking Sheffield.
Sheffield showed glimpses of the form they had produced over the past month, and when they did, looked dangerous, but these were limited to just a few occasions in the first half.
Melissa Johnson fired an effort into the side netting before Niamh Cashin went close with a header at the back post from a Jenna Dear free-kick after half an hour. Moments later Katie Anderson had a shot blocked after good work up the left from Cain but M Johnson fired the rebound wide.
Yet it was the Bees who looked more like scoring, and they would have done so moments before half-time had it not been for a superb Gibbons save. Paula Howells beat her defender down the left, and floated over a brilliant cross which an unmarked Katie Wilkinson looked to have converted with a strong header but Gibbons, somehow, managed to push it away at the last minute.
Sheffield ended the half with Dear hitting a dipping shot that didn't miss the crossbar by much with Nicola Hobbs, the Bees stopper, beaten, and sides went into the break at 0-0.
Sheffield improved after the break, with Cain sending a low powerful shot which fizzed off the wet surface and had Hobbs scrambling and ultimately relieved to see the ball fly just wide. Moments later, Chloe Dixon cut in off the right to hit a shot which Hobbs got down smartly to keep out.
Dear's half-volley off a Sarah Jackson corner did not miss by much just before Sheffield's best chance to opening the scoring. A strong break up the left side allowed M Johnson to drill a ball into the box where Dixon had time to take a touch and unleash a shot, only to hit it wide.
Dixon then produced a super cross from the right which Cain so nearly connected with but a great covering tackle from Rosie Lane prevented the forward from breaking the deadlock.
The visitors continued to pull the strings in the second half, and might have gone ahead when Emma Johnson turned smartly at the top of the box to create space for a shot which she hit wide of the mark. With just over 15 minutes remaining, M Johnson powered up the right and crossed for Cain who looked certain to break the deadlock, but couldn’t bundle the ball home when Nicola Hobbs misjudged a cross.
Bees created little in the second half, but the hosts could have snatched the win two minutes from time, only for Gibbons to pull off another fine save, this time to deny Becky Anderson.
Sheffield continue their hectic end of season schedule with a midweek trip to Watford this coming Wednesday evening. Kick off is 7:30pm at King’s Langley. Match tickets are available here.