SSE Women’s FA Cup Second Round - Sunderland AFC 1-3 Fylde Ladies
Sunderland suffered an early exit in this year’s SSE Women’s FA Cup, suffering a 3-1 home defeat to Fylde, a side who beat the Black Cats on the season’s opening day.
A bright first five minutes for the hosts were quickly forgotten about. Allison Cowling had to make her first save of the afternoon after eight minutes, diving bravely at the feet of Hollie Kelsh and stripping the ball from the striker.
There wasn’t much Cowling could do about Fylde’s 13th minute opener however. Coasters’ captain Danielle Young curled a free-kick neatly into the top corner from around 25 yards out to put her side ahead.
Sunderland built the pressure after falling behind but couldn’t pick their way through the Fylde defence. Keira Ramshaw had was the first to get a strike away during the search for an equaliser, but her effort from the edge of the area was blocked by Olivia Da Costa before being scooped up by ‘keeper Brittany Jackson.
Louise Griffiths headed wide soon after, Georgia Gibson’s free-kick from wide on the left found the defender, but she couldn’t direct the ball goalwards.
With seven minutes of the first half remaining, Mollie Lambert was booked for a foul on Emily Hollinshead, despite appearing to cleanly win the ball.
The resulting free-kick almost found Fylde their second goal after the ball was deflected to Sophie Charlton at close range. Cowling was on hand to make a great reaction save to keep the deficit at one.
In the 42nd minute Emily Hutchinson could have put the hosts’ level, but her first time effort after the ball was crossed to her at the back post was saved by Jackson. The rebound fell back to Hutchinson, but once again the ‘keeper held firm.
Only a minute later, Fylde doubled their lead. Cowling closed down and saved an effort from Hollinshead but the rebound fell to Charlton with an open net to roll the ball into, making things comfortable for the visitors at the break.
Similar to the first, Sunderland started well in the second half. After only three minutes, Ramshaw hit the post from a tight angle after Bridget Galloway played her in down the right hand side of the box.
Ramshaw went close once again two minutes later, hitting a free-kick narrowly over the bar from 25 yards out.
Galloway had her best chance 56 minutes in, as she went through one-on-one, but the ball got away from the striker and Jackson came out to block Galloway’s shot on the stretch.
The game hit a quite point as substitutions started rolling. It was one of Sunderland’s substitutions that put got them back into the game. Katie Barker beat a defender before hitting a cross-turned-shot from the left wing. It was helped into the net by Jackson and Sunderland were back in it.
However it would be Fylde that had the best chances of the remaining minutes. Cowling made a great save with five minutes to go, as a defensive mix up for Sunderland let Georgia Stevens clean through. Stevens shot high but Cowling got a strong hand to it to turn the ball away for a corner.
In the 90th minute, Fylde put the game to bed. Hollinshead found the bottom corner with a strike across goal from the edge of the area to send Fylde into the Third Round.
Sunderland will look to bounce back quickly with a FAWNL Cup Third Round tie at Blackburn Rover.
Sunderland Ladies: Cowling, Warren, McCatty, Griffiths, Kemp, Lambert, Gibson, Ramshaw, Atkinson (Young 65’), Hutchinson (Barker 57’), Galloway
Subs Not Used: Stonehouse, Beer, McLaughlin