Wednesday 16 May 2018

Gilliatt with late treble to wrap up Sheffield success

Striker clinches 5-0 victory for Sheffield in blistering second-half performance away to Watford

FA WSL 2 match
19:30, Wednesday 16 May 2018
Kings Langley FC

Sheffield FC Ladies Goal Scorers: Cain 52', Johnson 65', Gilliatt 84',88',90+3'

Ellie Gilliatt scored a superb hat-trick as Sheffield cemented their place in fifth in FA Women’s Super League 2 with a 5-0 win away to Watford.

After a goalless first half, Sheffield ran away with it in the second, Hannah Cain opening the scoring before Mel Johnson doubled the lead. And Gilliatt then produced a ten-minute hat-trick late on to seal a convincing win for the visitors.

STATS

Watford 0

Sheffield FC 5 

Cain 52

M Johnson 68

Gilliatt 84, 88, 90+4

Watford: (4-5-1): Fran Kitching, Charlotte Kerr, Georgie O'Halloran, Sydney Hinchcliffe, Samantha Hallsworth, Anneka Nuttall, Helen Ward, Linda Afuakwah, Simona Petkova, Emily Hill, Adekite Fatuga-Dada 

Substitutes: Leanne Bell for Fatuga-Dada (37), Antonia Gregoriou for Petkova (64) Tyra Poole for Hallsworth (76) 

Substitutes Not Used: Mollie Dench, Anaisa Harney, Jenny Hughes

Bookings: None 

Red Cards: None

Sheffield FC (4-3-3): Danielle Gibbons; Sarah Jackson, Sherry McCue, Danielle Cox, Jenna Dear, Ellie Gilliatt; Melissa Johnson, Hannah Cain, Chloe Dixon, Niamh Cashin, Emma Johnson 

Substitutes: Rhema Lord-Mears for Dixon (76), Kenedy Owen for Dear (80), Holly Housley for Cain (80) 

Subs not used: Elizabeth Hobson, Nicola Kemp

Bookings: None

Red Cards: None

Referee: Lauren Holt

KEY MOMENTS

After their first win of the campaign last Sunday, Watford looked full of confidence and they had plenty of possession without being able to find the final ball.

Still, they needed keeper Fran Kitching to be at her best as she made crucial saves from Melissa Johnson and Hannah Cain before half-time.

Sheffield hit the front not long after the break, with Cain firing home from 12 yards out before Johnson wrapped up the points with 22 minutes to go following a defensive mix-up.

There was still time for Sheffield to kick on, with Gilliatt taking centre stage in the final minutes of the game.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

More a ten-minute blitz than a specific moment, but Ellie Gilliatt was outstanding in this encounter. A brilliant left-footed strike made it 3-0 before she followed that up with a ferocious hit from 15 yards two minutes from time. And she completed her hat-trick deep into injury-time with a simple tap-in to complete the convincing win.

WHAT THEY SAID

Watford manager Armand Kavaja said: “You could not see that score by the way we played in the first half so it was really tough on the girls.

“That was our fourth game in two weeks, which was hard on the girls physically. We struggled to sustain the intensity through the whole match, and they are a good side so credit to them. 

“We were in the game for a long period, aside from the late goals, and that’s been building up for a long period over recent games.

“We have to learn to maintain looking after the ball and that will come with experience.”

Sheffield FC manager Zoe Johnson said: “The girls put in a professional performance from start to finish.

“Watford made it difficult for us in the first half because they exploited our game plan but we went back in and told them to stick what we were supposed to do.

“The girls came out and it was a fantastic reaction in the second half to score five goals. 

“Ellie’s been on 69 goals and dying to get that goal. 

“She’s been looking for the 70th, the game was opening up so we thought use her pace, get the ball in to her and Ellie did the rest.

“She’s has pace to burn, is a fantastic player and a fantastic leader for this club. The goal spurred her on and she got what she deserved.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

Watford round out their season at home to Durham, who currently sit fourth in FA WSL 2.

Meanwhile Sheffield travel to Aston Villa with fifth place all but guaranteed as they sit three points clear of London Bees with an 11-goal advantage in terms of goal difference.

Kavaja added: “We will prepare and want to finish the season strongly as possible to show that we are not just turning up. 

“We want to compete, and we have shown in recent games that we are competing. 

“It will be a tough but we are building for next season.”

Johnson added: “The win will put us in a positive stead, we have had a lot of games in quick succession. 

“The girls are mentally and physically drained but we will look forward to the last game and go with the same attitude as we have tonight.”

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