United Women celebrate a goal in Norway.

United Women hit five against Sandefjord

Saturday 03 August 2019 17:28

Jane Ross scored her first goal for Manchester United Women in a 5-0 win over Sandefjord in the team’s second and final pre-season tour match.

Following a comprehensive defeat against an experienced Valerenga side on Wednesday, the Reds faced a very different test in the 22-degree heat in southern Norway.

Casey Stoney made six changes, with Amy Turner and Charlotte Newsham coming in at the back for Aimee Palmer and Kirsty Hanson.

United Women line up for a photograph before kick-off.
Lizzie Arnot started on the right of a front three and threatened throughout the first half, linking well with Hayley Ladd. But it was Arnot’s international team-mate who had United’s first real opportunity of the afternoon, after a flurry of Sandefjord corners. Ross got on the end of Leah Galton cross but couldn’t quite direct her headed effort on target.

The 29-year-old was heavily involved in the opener though, latching onto a through ball and forcing a good low save by the Sandefjord goalkeeper. The ball fell to Mollie Green inside the penalty area, the midfielder showing composure to slot in and get the scoring under way.

Ten minutes after an enforced drinks break, Ella Toone doubled our lead heading in Arnot’s cross from the right. Ross’s first in a United shirt made it 3-0 before half-time, the Scot finishing smartly with her left foot past the on-rushing keeper. A last-ditch effort to clear off the line was in vain as the assistant referee raised his flag and Ross could celebrate.

It was another solid 45 minutes for the striker who will be hoping to start against her former side when we travel to the Etihad for our opening WSL match of the season against Manchester City in September.

Scorer of our goal against Valerenga, Jess Sigsworth replaced Ross at half-time and was soon in and among the action as United continued where we left off, on the front foot and attacking. But it was another new signing who was next on the scoresheet, Ladd the quickest to react when Arnot’s left-footed shot came back off a post. Our no.12 swept in to score her first goal for United and make it 4-0.

Making her debut in between the sticks, Mary Earps had little to do - one reaction save in the first half apart - but the England international made her presence felt and her voice heard throughout. She was replaced by Emily Ramsey on the hour mark, one of seven simultaneous substitutions.

Alex Greenwood was one of those second-half substitutes, making her first appearance since returning from the World Cup and took up an advanced role. Within seven minutes, Kirsty Smith's cross set up Sigsworth to head in the fifth and round off the scoring.

Lifelong United fan Abbie McManus also made her debut, coming on for first-half captain Amy Turner.
Mille Turner goes in strongly to win an aerial challenge.

United Women: Earps (Ramsey 60); Newsham, A. Turner (McManus 60), M. Turner (Palmer 60), Galton (Smith 60); Ladd; Green, Toone (James 60); Arnot (Hanson 60), Ross (Sigsworth 45), Edwards (Greenwood 60).

Goals: Green 12, Toone 35, Ross 40, Ladd 61, Sigsworth 67

Booked: M. Turner