Keira Ramshaw of Sunderland WFC

Ladies draw at Forest

by Stuart Vose

Womens' unbeaten run continues.

Nottingham Forest WFC 2 Sunderland WFC 2

Sunderland qualified from the group stage of the Premier League Cup following a hard-fought away draw at Nottingham Forest.

Keira Ramshaw scored both goals for the Lady Black Cats, who remain unbeaten this season.

Mick Mulhern’s side had seen each of their previous two games called off and were pushed hard on their return to action by a determined Forest outfit.

Both sides created opportunities in the early stages but it was Sunderland who grew stronger as the first period progressed.

The visitors took the lead seven minutes before the break - Ramshaw heading over the line from close range in a goalmouth scramble.

However, the Lady Black Cats were pegged back 10 minutes after the restart as Natasha Meade’s effort from distance left keeper Rachael Laws helpless.

But Sunderland have consistently responded in adversity this season and did so again as Stephanie Bannon’s free-kick was half-cleared to Ramshaw, who lashed a volley into the top corner.

Jordan Atkinson came close to a third goal, while Natalie Gutteridge headed home a Ramshaw cross only to be denied by an offside flag.

Forest sensed their chance and only a superb save from Laws prevented Amber Hughes from equalising 15 minutes from time.

But Hughes was not to be denied as she levelled the contest five minutes from the end, beating Laws in style following an incisive breakaway.

There was almost another twist in the plot in the closing moments as Ramshaw fired goalwards only to see her effort clip the bar, denying her a hat-trick.

Mulhern said afterwards: “We were a little rusty afer a few weeks off, which is understandable, but there were several positives.

“We kept on going on a pitch that was heavy on the legs , Keira took her goals well and there was a debut for 16-year-old Abby Joyce who did well.

“Most important of all the unbeaten run continues so I’m obviously pleased.”

Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Bannon, Salicki, Greenwell, McDougall, Furness, Gutteridge, Ramshaw, Atkinson (Joyce), Mead.

Sub Not Used: Wilson.