Mead nets decider as 100% league record continues.Sunderland returned to league action keen to continue their 100 per cent form as they faced mid-table London Bees at the Hetton Centre.
The home side dominated from the start and had the lion's share of possession for much of the first half.
Rachel Furness flashed a header just wide of the far post from from an early corner.
With 12 minutes played Abby Holmes got forward and, after exchanging passes with Beth Mead, launched a great shot from the edge of the area that flew just over.
The London Bees midfield were finding it increasingly more difficult to contain the formidable Furness as she had several chances, including a fierce strike that was narrowly wide.
On the half hour mark, Mead had a shot well saved by Rowlands in the London Bees goal, who was exceptional for the visitors.
One of the best chances of the game fell to Abbey Joice who was found by a sharp Kelly McDougall pass unmarked in the box, but she couldn't get her effort beyond Rowlands.
Just as it looked like the Bees would hang on until half time the Lady Black Cats made the breakthrough. Kelly McDougall's cross found Mead, who powered her header into the net.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first, with Sunderland creating chance after chance but being held at bay by their outstanding goalkeeper.
Early in the second half Sunderland were dealt a blow as Joice was stretchered off. The England U19 international injured her ankle after an awkward fall from a challenge.
Sunderland searched for a second goal but were unable to break down a determined Bees defence.
Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Greenwell, Furness, Bannon, Wilson, Ramshaw, McDougall, Mead, Kelly (Sharp, 89) Joice (Bass, 55).
Subs not used: Alderson, McHugh, Beer.