Mead on the mark

by Ashley Houghton

Prolific striker rescues point for ladies at Leeds.

Leeds United WFC 1 Sunderland WFC 1

Sunderland’s ladies preserved their unbeaten status at the top of the FA Women’s Premier League on Sunday.

The league leaders left it late in a hard-fought game at Farsley with Beth Mead’s 89th- minute equaliser earning a point for Mick Mulhern’s side.

The hosts took the lead on 26 minutes when Rachel Lee passed through for Clare Sykes who finished well past the onrushing Rachael Laws.

And, despite constant pressure from the Lady Black Cats, it looked as if Leeds would inflict a first defeat on Sunderland for over 11 months.

Mead had different ideas, though, and she was on hand to lash home from 18 yards after a goalmouth scramble.

Mulhern was delighted with a point which sees his side move two points clear at the top of the table.

He said: “I’m happy with a point, especially after our disappointing first-half display.

“We had a productive chat at half time and the display in the second half was far better.”

The Sunderland boss was equally pleased with Mead’s impact in the closing stages.

“I'd spoken to Beth with five minutes to go, and I told her to stay alive in the box as she would get a chance,” he added.

“That chance came and she buried it.”