Sheffield Up To Fifth With 3-0 Win Against Millwall Lionesses
Sheffield recorded their fourth straight FA Women’s Super League 2 win with a 3-0 win over high-flying Millwall Lionesses to continue their excellent recent form.
It’s the first time in their two seasons as an FA WSL side that Sheffield have recorded four league wins on the bounce and they couldn’t have started any better.
Under a scorching hot sun, Hannah Cain burst in from the left wing with just six minutes gone before sliding Melissa Johnson in with a perfectly weighted through ball which allowed the striker to take a touch in the box before placing her shot into the top corner past Millwall 'keeper Sarah Quantrill.
Millwall might have drawn level had they capitalised on a couple of less than convincing defensive corners by Sheffield, but it was 2-0 less than ten minutes later when the impressive Cain turned her marker as the ball was worked to her from a Sheffield corner, before crossing for Niamh Cashin to double their lead.
The visitor's best chance of the half fell to Ellie Mason who could only smash her effort high and wide with half an hour gone.
Sheffield exploited the space in wide areas, getting behind Millwall's wing backs with Cain and Chloe Dixon being used to great effect. Emma Johnson's slide pass into Cain seemed to set the forward up, but she elected to pass instead of shoot and Millwall shut the door.
The game became scrappy at the end of the first half, and Millwall rallied with a serious of corners which Sheffield looked vulnerable from, but happily did not concede as they might have done earlier in the season.
An early goal at the start of the second half put Sheffield firmly in the driving seat and put the dampeners of MIllwall's hopes of a comeback. Cain completed a hat-trick of assists and her ball into Dixon allowed the forward to apply a great finish which had Quantrill at full stretch but unable to keep it out.
Dixon might have made it four minutes later as a great ball from Sherry McCue out to the forward allowed Dixon to drive forward and her fierce shot from 20 yards beat Quantrill only to smash against the junction of post and crossbar.
Millwall had openings, but failed to take them in contrast to the rest of the season. Charlie Devlin got in a couple of good positions only to hit shots wide of the target, but it was Mason with the best opportunities, coming closest off a Devlin cross which the midfielder headed onto the crossbar.
The visitors withdrew two defenders with 20 minutes to go in an attempt to reel the score line back, and it almost paid off whe Rianna Dean was put through with just Danielle Gibbons to beat, but the Sheffield keeper pulled off an excellent save from close range to deny the Lionesses.
The final ten minutes saw chances at both ends. Danielle Cox went really close off a couple of set pieces for Sheffield whilst substitute Ashlee Hincks fizzed an effort just wide of the post at the other end. Jenna Dear saw a driven free-kick cannon off the crossbar in stoppage time, when a goal would have capped off another excellent performance by the midfielder.
The result puts a huge dent in Millwall's title hopes who, with two matches to play, remain five points adrift of leaders Doncaster Rovers Belles and a point behind Brighton & Hove Albion whose 4-1 win against Watford saw them climb into second. Millwall's final two matches are against these two sides.
Sheffield, meanwhile, jump up into a season's high position of fifth place, ahead of London Bees on goal difference, with a match against Doncaster Rovers Belles to come in three days time at the Home of Football. Tickets can be purchased in advance here at reduced prices.
Photo courtesy of Joe Smart.