Skipper Bannon wins it for ladies

by Ashley Houghton

Captain slams home decider in narrow victory.

Barnet WFC 0 Sunderland WFC 1

Sunderland’s ladies extended their lead at the top of the FA Women’s Premier League to five points with a 1-0 victory at Barnet.

In difficult conditions, it took 80 minutes for the Lady Black Cats to break the deadlock and extend their unbeaten run in the 2012-13 season.

Ladies captain Steph Bannon broke the deadlock for Mick Mulhern’s side, who have won three consecutive games.

Sunderland dominated for large periods of the game but failed to convert their opportunities until Bannon struck.

The visitors created from the off as Sophie Williams crossed perfectly for Ruth Sutcliffe who headed narrowly wide.

Bannon crashed a free-kick against the crossbar as Barnet rode their luck on multiple occasions.

Fine play again by Sunderland created yet another chance - Ellie Christon played a ball into the path of Abbey Joice who cleverly beat her marker but could only fire over the bar.

The deadlock was broken ten minutes from time when the ball was partially cleared to Joice who carried it forward before playing it back into box for Bannon to crash a shot into the roof of the net, much to the relief of Mulhern.

“It was tough today due to our growing list of injuries but we were always in charge - we just couldn't find an end product,” he explained.

“Luckily the skipper [Steph Bannon] showed us how to do it and the unbeaten run moves on towards 18 months.”

Sunderland: Alderson, Christon, Bannon, Wilson, Greenwell, Furness, Sutcliffe, Joice, Atkinson, Williams, Mead (Beer).

Subs not used: Laws, Salicki, Unwin.