Report: Sunderland Ladies 0-4 Liverpool Ladies

Sunderland Ladies were made to rue their missed opportunities as Liverpool sealed victory in the FAWSL 1 at Eppleton CW.  

With just eight minutes on the clock Rosie White netted a sublime opener from range as Liverpool gained the early initiative.

Lucy Staniforth and Brooke Chaplen went close to levelling for Sunderland but Alex Greenwood converted a penalty to double the visitors’ lead against the run of play.

The Lasses fought their way back into the game but were unlucky when Chaplen and Mead saw efforts cleared off the line.

Stephanie Roche was then denied by a super save from Siobhan Chamberlain before Steph Bannon’s own goal and Katie Zelem’s stoppage-time strike ensured Liverpool’s victory.

Having showed superb team spirit to claw back a two-goal deficit against Liverpool last time, Carlton Fairweather looked to feed on that kind of commitment in his pre-match notes.

But while their first league victory of the campaign still eluded the Lady Black Cats, the Lasses approached this match with every confidence of continuing their controlled start to the new FAWSL 1 campaign.

Sunderland started the brighter and despite Keira Ramshaw’s long-range effort, which tested Chamberlain, the Lady Black Cats were dealt the ultimate sucker punch after just eight minutes.

White timed her run to perfection and managed to break Sunderland’s offside trap as she latched onto a ball over the top.

After bringing the ball down well, she then gave the hosts no time to get back and unleashed a fierce drive which flew over Rachael Laws and into the top corner.

It was cruel on Fairweather and his team but they responded well and set about looking to find a way back into the fixture.

Lucy Staniforth went close with a 25-yard free-kick which almost nestled in the bottom corner before Chaplen sliced wide from the edge of the box moments later.

But for all of Sunderland’s pressure they just couldn’t find a route back into the match as Liverpool went on to punish them.

Tash Harding got the better of Steph Bannon inside the area and the defender made a reckless challenge which left the referee with no alternative but to point to the spot.

Greenwood stepped up and dispatched a calm penalty beyond Laws to double the visitors’ lead.

Again Sunderland responded well and rallied in stoppage time at the end of the first-half as Mead and Chaplen saw their efforts cleared off the line.

While the scoreline painted a picture of Liverpool dominance, the Lady Black Cats could count themselves unfortunate to go in at the break behind considering the amount of chances they squandered.

A high-octane start to the second period asserted Sunderland’s authority and set the tone for a fully committed 45 minutes.

Rachel Furness saw her effort flash wide before Roche met Ramshaw’s cross with a bullet header which forced Chamberlain to tip the ball over.

Sunderland were full-blooded and continued to press but as they piled forward Liverpool struck again following an incisive breakaway.

Harding’s pace saw her get the better of Sharp and while her cross was harmless, Bannon could only turn the ball into her own net.

Zelem then rounded off the scoring with a neat finish deep into stoppage time as Sunderland were left to rue their many missed chances.

Sunderland starting XI: Laws, Holmes, Bannon, Sharp, Williams, Furness (Hill, 76), Staniforth (McDougall, 76), Chaplen, Ramshaw (Joice, 76), Roche, Mead.

Unused subs: Olsen, Brown, Kelly, Potts.

Attendance: 640

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