Sunderland Ladies 5-2 Derby County Ladies
After a defeat last time out, Sunderland Ladies bounced back in style with five goals and a win at home to Derby County, a side who beat the Black Cats earlier this season.
Georgia Gibson went close with a well hit long range effort after 16 minutes. The low shot following a cleared Keira Ramshaw cross was just wide of the left hand post.
Sunderland did find their breakthrough after 23 minutes, three minutes after Emily Hutchinson had a goal ruled out for a dubious offside.
A great header from Bridget Galloway dipped in just under the crossbar after Ramshaw picked her out with a corner from the left.
Derby replied within six minutes. A corner, won after Sophy Stonehouse made a great diving save to deny Cara Newton, was headed in by Emily Joyce to level the scores.
The deadlock was restored for less than a minute however, as Mollie Lambert smashed home a cut back from Jordan Atkinson with a first time strike from just inside the area.
The hosts extended their lead in the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half. Leah Kellogg spilled a good strike from Ramshaw and Galloway reacted brilliantly, getting to the loose ball first and finding the net via the far post.
Within three minutes of the restart, Galloway completed her hat-trick as her shot was spilled over the line by Kellogg.
Derby pushed to get themselves back into the game, however the Sunderland defence stood firm. First, Faye Mullen made a great sliding challenge inside the area to cleanly strip the ball away from Cara Newton.
Andrea Bell looked to go through one-on-one with Stonehouse just after the hour mark, but Louise Griffiths pressured the striker into a rushed shot and the ball rolled comfortably back for the Sunderland ‘keeper.
Griffiths was on hand to deny Bell once again with 20 minutes remaining. She recovered brilliantly as Bell seemed to be clean through on goal, but Griffiths recovered the ground before making a great sliding challenge on the edge of the area.
Derby did pull one back three minutes later, as this time no-one got back in time to stop Cara Newton getting in one-on-one and finding the net.
But, much like the first Derby goal, Sunderland hit back in less than a minute. Gibson produced a moment of brilliance with a wonderful left footed strike from distance.
Chances were minimal after that, with Katie Barker having the best opportunity of the remaining minutes. A one-two between her and fellow substitute Anna Young saw the winger go through on goal, only for her effort to be blocked by the ‘keeper.
A good way to go into the cup games for Sunderland, who will next face Fylde Ladies in the SSE Women’s FA Cup on December 2.
Sunderland Ladies: Stonehouse, Griffiths, McCatty, Kemp, Mullen (Warren, 83), Gibson, Lambert, Ramshaw, Atkinson (Young, 70), Hutchinson (Barker, 70), Galloway
Subs Not Used: Cowling, Skull
Derby County Ladies: Kellogg, Sims (Ball, 70), Ward, Tait, Camilla Newton (Watson, 46), Loyce, Smith, Ledgister (Barber, 46), Redgrave, Cara Newton, Bell
Subs Not Used: Morgan, Harrison