Preston North End Women suffered defeat against Sheffield FC Ladies at Bamber Bridge on Sunday afternoon with Sheffield winning the league in the process.
Manager Mark Read was forced into making numerous changes from the previous game against Bradford City due to various reasons and named a young team to take on the 2012/13 league champions.
PNE couldn’t have wished for a worst start as they were behind inside three minutes when Rebecca Lee broke the offside trap and squared to Jodie Michalska for her 18th goal of the season.
Ten minutes later Preston had a chance to level the scores, but a last ditch tackle from Natasha Cooke prevented Melissa Ball getting her shot away when she was one-on-one with Claire Wallhead.
Sheffield continued to put pressure on the North End defence and Carly Bayley made a fantastic goal line clearance to deny Michalska her second with 15 minutes gone.
However from the resulting corner, Leanne De Silva rose highest to head in Carla Ward’s delivery.
Following the early flurry of chances, the game slowed down and it wasn’t until six minutes before half time when the next real chance came about.
Sheffield were awarded a penalty after Ward was fouled in the box and she brushed herself down to take it, but Danielle Brown made a fantastic save to keep it out.
Brown couldn’t do anything about Sheffield’s third goal though when Michalska slotted past her from the edge of the area for her second of the game in the 43rd minute.
The second half was much of the same with Sheffield piling on the pressure, knowing that two more league wins would retain their league title and two quick goals in the second half sealed the three points.
First Bayley diverted Ward’s cross into her own net, before Ward got on the scoresheet herself from close range after that missed penalty.
With Sheffield taking all three points and Nottingham Forest Ladies losing at home to Wolves, it meant that Sheffield retained their title as Forest could no longer catch them.
Meanwhile, PNE look to next week when they take on Stoke City Ladies at Bamber Bridge with a 2pm kick off and free entry for all.
PNE: Brown, Forshaw, Bayley, Nickson, Stanfield, Anderton (c) (Lupton 53), Rawcliffe, Charlesworth, Ball, Hutton, Grocott