Heath and Hanson second-half strikes rescue point for Red Devils in women's derby
15th November 2020

CASEY STONEY insists she didn’t turn on the hairdryer at half-time despite her players fighting back from two goals down to seize a point from their rivals.

City led when Chloe Kelly broke the deadlock just nine minutes in before Laura Coombs added another on the stroke of half-time.



It was a stern reminder to their neighbours of why they’ve been bossing the division’s elite for over a decade during the Red Devils' 13-year desertion from women's football.

But what happened next was one of the most staggering collapses, which suggested that Stoney surely must have given her players a grilling worthy of Sir Alex Ferguson in the dressing room.

After the break Tobin Heath pulled one back before substitute Kirsty Hanson levelled for United to snatch a point and stay top of the table.

The Red Devils boss said: “The first five minutes the players have to themselves.

They didn’t need me to go and turn the kettle on or get the hair dryer out, they knew it wasn’t good enough, and I knew it wasn’t good enough

“I’m not in there, I don’t hear it and I don’t want to, it’s for them to digest what’s going on.

“They knew, they didn’t need me to go and turn the kettle on or get the hair dryer out, they knew it wasn’t good enough, and I knew it wasn’t good enough.

“It’s credit to them they adapted brilliantly, we were very worthy of a point.”

High-flying United started brightly, with Heath’s twinkle toes twisting inside and out to set up Ella Toone – who flashed an effort just wide.


But jaws hit the deck when it was the visitors got the breakthrough after a desperate scramble in the box.

Alex Greenwood whipped in an inch perfect corner which ricocheted between four sky blue shirts before falling to Kelly who flicked it into the top corner.

And the Red Devils were made to pay.

Georgia Stanway would have doubled the lead if it wasn’t for a genuine world-class stop from Mary Earps.

And City hit back again as ex-United skipper Greenwood came back to haunt her former club with another dangerous corner – but no one was there to make the crucial touch.

It was only a matter of time before the visitors made it two as Coombs collected the rebound off a low drive from Kelly to pull the trigger from distance.

It’s still early days but we could have gone within two points of them. We looked comfortable like that was going to happen

After the break, United had four successive corners – they just needed another sniff.

That arrived thanks to a moment of brilliance from Heath who pulled one back on the 54th minute.

She pounced onto a limp pass from Lucy Bronze and lashed in a sweet finish into the top corner from an awkward angle – cue mayhem on the United bench.

The USA World Cup winner kissed the Red Devils badge, having fully immersed herself in Old Trafford’s culture since her arrival in the summer.

Lauren James tried her luck from distance but flashed an effort over the bar before a Stanway volley grazed the far post.

Suddenly there was panic in the visitor's ranks as yet another United corner was whipped in from the left.

It bounced to Hanson for her to poke home on the 74th minute as the home side's bench went ballistic again.

City boss Gareth Taylor said: “I wouldn’t say we took our foot off the gas. The effort and endeavour was there, it was basically all in for them and they put pressure on.

“It’s still early days but we could have gone within two points of them. We looked comfortable like that was going to happen.

“We don’t want teams to get away from us. For me it’s disappointing today.”

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