Win over City sets up last-eight FA Cup tie.
Sunderland WFC 4 Manchester City Ladies 0
Sunderland’s ladies progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup following a well-deserved 4-0 victory over Manchester City at the Hetton Centre.
Top scorer Beth Mead bagged twice either side of a Sophie Williams strike before captain Stephanie Bannon sealed the win for the hosts.
Sunderland started brightly and their first real opportunity came through Bannon. The Lady Black Cats’ skipper intercepted a short City pass, before linking well with Rachel Furness and Williams, only to be denied by Andrea Worrall.
City were always lively on the break and former Sunderland striker Sarah Danby went close but her effort was fired over the bar.
The hosts deservedly took the six minutes before half time - Williams’ ball into the area was bravely attacked by Mead and her diving header flew into the corner on the net.
That goal sparked the FA Women’s Premier League leaders into life as great intricate play between Keira Ramshaw and Abbey Joice saw Mead’s effort just clear the bar.
Sunderland’s continuous pressure paid off as the Lady Black Cats doubled their lead on the stroke of half time. Furness played the ball out to Williams on the left and the winger smashed a spectacular drive into the top corner.
Mead added to her unrivalled tally of 24 goals with her second of the afternoon on 51 minutes.
Furness delivered a great cross to the far post before Ramshaw played the ball back across the area and Mead was on hand to put the ball into the net from close range.
Bannon rounded off a fine afternoon’s work for the Lady Black Cats as Vicki Greenwell’s long ball found the ladies captain unmarked in the area to nod the ball home for her second goal in two games.
Ladies boss Mick Mulhern was once again delighted with the character of his side as they extended their unbeaten run in the 2012-13 season.
“I’m delighted to be in the quarter-finals again,” Mulhern said.
“We were well organised out of possession and a constant threat in possession - the girls were magnificent.”
Sunderland: Laws, Beer, Bannon, Wilson, Greenwell, McFadden (McDougall), Furness (Sutcliffe), Joice, Ramshaw, Williams (Atkinson), Mead.
Subs not used: Alderson, Salicki, Caldwell.