Lady Black Cats get season off to flying start.
Portsmouth 1 Sunderland WFC 4
Sunderland Women made a flying start to the defence of their Women’s Premier League title with an emphatic victory over newly-promoted Portsmouth.
The home side took the game to the Lady Black Cats, enjoying much of the early possession in difficult conditions on the South Coast.
But following a goalless first half, Sunderland stepped up a gear after the interval, with Sophie Williams and Beath Mead missing chances to break the deadlock before Vicki Greenwell put the visitors into the lead with a powerful 30-yard strike on the hour.
Two minutes later Mick Mulhern’s side doubled their lead, Kelly McDougall playing a pin-point pass to Williams who calmly slotted the ball past the onrushing Portsmouth keeper.
But with 14 minutes remaining, Sunderland restored their two-goal advantage when Mead lashed in from the edge of the box and then put the game beyond doubt through a coolly-taken effort from McDougall.
Following the game manager Mulhern said: “We were playing a newly promoted team who are obviously used to winning and they provided us with a stern test today and the 30-degree temperatures made it harder.
“We were excellent in the second half and our winning mentality shone through and we thoroughly deserved the points today. I’m delighted.”
Sunderland: Laws, Christon, Wilson, Greenwell, Halliday (Holmes), Furness, Williams, Gutteridge (Atkinson), McDougall, Ramshaw, Mead (Caldwell).
Subs Not Used: Alderson, Bannon.