Ladies' 100% start ended

by Stuart Vose

Lady Black Cats earn point at Watford.

Watford LFC 2 Sunderland WFC 2

Sunderland WFC’s 100% start to the season came to an end as they drew 2-2 at Watford on Sunday.

The Lady Black Cats came from a goal down to establish a 2-1 lead but the Hornets hit back from the penalty spot to claim a point.

Mick Mulhern’s side are still four points clear at the top of the National Premier League and remain unbeaten.

The defending champions started well, creating a number of early chances before the hosts replied by carving out some opportunities of their own.

Indeed, it was the southern side who took the lead late in the first half – Kate Natkiel teeing up Jo Wilson for a simple finish.

Sunderland equalised after the break through Keira Ramshaw, who latched onto Rachel Furness’ long ball and cut inside before firing home.

And they were ahead when Beth Mead was upended in the penalty area, allowing Kelly McDougall to net from the spot.

McDougall then rattled the underside of the crossbar, and the visitors would rue the near miss as Watford levelled thanks to a late penalty from Sarah Wiltshire.

Manager Mulhern admitted he saw the result as “two points dropped”, adding:

“We gifted Watford a goal in the first half but the response in the second was exactly what I asked of my players.

“We got ahead but sometimes things happen in a game that you can’t legislate for. We are still four points ahead and that’s good, but we all know it should have been six.”

Sunderland: Laws, Bannon, Holmes, Greenwell, Wilson (Salicki), Williams, McDougall, Furness (Sutcliffe), Gutteridge, Ramshaw, Mead.

Subs Not Used: Atkinson, Caldwell, Alderson.