Ladies' late cup heartbreak

by Ashley Houghton

Womens' side so close to Liverpool shock.

Sunderland WFC 1 Liverpool Ladies 2

Sunderland’s ladies lost their first game of the 2012-13 season as they went down 2-1 to WSL side Liverpool in the Women’s FA Cup quarter-final at the Academy of Light.

Katrin Omarsdottir controversially struck the cruel blow for the Reds when it seemed as if there was a handball in the build-up to the winning goal.

Mick Mulhern’s side felt aggrieved by the decision to award the goal after Beth Mead had cancelled out Lillie Fenlon-Billson’s first-half strike.

Liverpool, who fielded a side full of full internationals, started the brighter with Dowie shooting wide when one-on-one with Sunderland keeper Rachael Laws.

But the Lady Black Cats were more than a match for the Women’s Super League giants and went close to opening the deadlock when Keira Ramshaw smashed wide from 20 yards after good interplay with Mead.

The visitors opened the scoring on ten minutes - Fenlon-Billson’s 25-yard drive evading Laws and nestling in the bottom corner.

Sunderland reacted well and Ramshaw first forced a save from Liverpool keeper Sarah Quantrill before smashing wide when in a good position.

Mulhern’s side roared out of the blocks at the start of the second half and went close to equalising when captain Steph Bannon’s 30-yard curling free-kick hit the post.

However, the hosts got their reward for their persistence on the hour mark. Ramshaw broke clear but saw her shot well saved by Quantrill before Mead gleefully nodded home the rebound.

Mead’s equaliser gave Sunderland hope of a famous victory and the ladies’ top scorer was inches from giving the Lady Black Cats the lead when her 20-yard curling effort crashed against the post.

Liverpool were always a threat and Dowie hit the post twice before seeing a goal ruled out for offside.

And the visitors got their controversial winner in the last minute as Omarsdottir lashed the ball home in the box amidst claims for handball.