Sunderland AFC Ladies 8-0 Nottingham Forest Ladies
Sunderland regained top spot in style with an eight-goal victory over mid-table Nottingham Forest.
It truly was a lightning start for the Black Cats, as Keira Ramshaw found the net from the edge of the area three minutes in, after Emily Hutchinson set her up.
And Ramshaw added a second only a minute later. Great work from Jordan Atkinson saw her beat several defenders down the right before sliding to cross the ball in. Ramshaw got in front of her marker to slot home.
It would only get worse for Forest after their captain Kelly Darby fouled Bridget Galloway in the box. Galloway stepped up to take the penalty herself, powering the ball in past the Rebecca Thomas’ right hand to get Sunderland a third inside nine minutes.
The hosts controlled play effortlessly before they got their fourth of the afternoon. Anna Young’s left foot finish from inside the area in the 26th minute was her second goal in as many games.
With nine minutes of the first half remaining, Ramshaw completed her hat-trick with an unstoppable free-kick. The skipper found the top right corner with a belter from the edge of the area.
Three minutes later, Sunderland found a sixth. A lovely floated cross to the back post by Young was finished brilliantly by Hutchinson at a tight angle.
Forest ‘keeper Thomas was kept busy before half-time. First she reacted well to a powerful strike towards the near post from Ramshaw, before being forced to turn a lobbed, long range effort from Atkinson over the bar.
The second half continued on from the first. Atkinson could have scored within a minute of the restart but shot straight at Thomas.
Galloway wanted a goal in open play, and almost found one. A great cross from Megan Beer found the striker, but her effort was blocked.
In the 56th minute, Sunderland got a seventh goal. A fantastically composed finish from left-back Faye Mullen rounded off a great move. Young played a perfect through ball into the path of Mullen, before she calmly curled the ball into the bottom right corner.
The eighth goal would come 11 minutes later, Hutchinson’s good movement in the box saw her get on the end of a great cross from Galloway to find the net for her second.
It could have been nine a minute later, as Hutchinson tried to return Galloway’s favour, playing the striker through on goal with a fantastic ball in behind the Forest defence. However, Thomas once again denied Galloway with a good save to her right.
With 77 minutes on the clock, substitute Katie Barker hit a powerful, curling effort from the edge of the area only to see it cannon back off the inside of the post. Ramshaw got to the rebound but had two attempts blocked before the danger was cleared.
The skipper almost had a fourth in the closing moments, but Thomas did well to turn the well hit snapshot around the post.
A dominant display from the Black Cats on their return to Hetton after a long spell on the road saw Sunderland reclaim top spot.
Sunderland Ladies: Stonehouse, Beer, McCatty, Kemp, Mullen (Stewart 57’), Atkinson (Barker 69’), Lambert, Young, Ramshaw ©, Hutchinson, Galloway (Gibson 76’)
Subs not used: Cowling, Griffiths
Nottingham Forest: Thomas, Harkin, Darby ©, Griffin, Hewitt, Lee (Constantinou 55’), Sanderson, Munn (Dicken 55’), Adam, Wilson (Middleton 55’)
Subs not used: Hallam