Beth Mead

Ladies held to draw

by Stuart Vose

Late leveller keeps unbeaten streak alive.

Sunderland’s ladies side kept their unbeaten run going with a late leveller against Watford at Eppleton CW.

The visitors led 2-1 in the final stages of the game but leading scorer Beth Mead rifled home her second goal of the match to secure a point with time running out.

The crowd were treated to a competitive encounter with both sides going close before the Hornets opened the scoring just after the half-hour.

Good work from Sarah Wilshire had the Sunderland defence on the back foot and she squared for Jo Wilson to tap home.

However, the hosts wasted no time in levelling as captain Stephanie Bannon supplied a cross which was acrobatically volleyed home by Mead from 12 yards.

Wilshere was almost at it again before the break and would have scored but for good defending from Gemma Wilson.

Sunderland started the second half well and created a trio of chances only to fall victim to an incisive counter-attack as Watford regained the lead on the hour.

The alert Wilson seized on a short back-pass and rounded keeper Rachel Laws to score.

Mulhern’s side piled on the pressure as the final 15 minutes ticked away and eventually levelled when Kelly McDougall touched on Bannon’s cross for Mead to pounce from close range.

Indeed, Sunderland almost fashioned a late, late winner but Kiera Ramshaw’s cross was headed inches wide by Natalie Gutteridge.

Manager Mulhern said afterwards: “I’m disappointed to drop two points.

“We were dominant throughout and created several very good chances, but they wouldn’t go in.

“We pushed hard for a winner but we ran out of time. That can happen but there were lots of positives and I can’t fault the players’ attitude and endeavour.”

Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Bannon, Wilson (Salicki), Greenwell, Ramshaw, Furness, McDougall, Devine (Williams), Gutteridge, Mead.

Subs Not Used: Chidester, Christon, Sutcliffe.