Sunderland Ladies 1-2 Huddersfield Town Ladies
Sunderland Ladies slipped to a home defeat against second place rivals Huddersfield Town on Sunday.
Niamh McLaughlin opened the scoring in the 20th minute but Huddersfield hit back via Brittany Sanderson shortly after. Lucy Sowerby scored in the 48th minute and Huddersfield held Sunderland off to take all three points.
The Lady Black Cats made only one change from last weekend’s draw at Stoke City, with Anna Young replacing Faye Mullen and Emily Hutchinson moving to left-back. Maria Farrugia returned from international duty but only made the bench.
Huddersfield got off to a quick start, with Allison Cowling forced into making two saves in the first two minutes from Laura Elford and Sowerby respectively.
Keira Ramshaw was the first to test Terriers ‘keeper Anna Pederson, after 12 minutes, finding the target with a left-foot volley but Pederson saved.
Sunderland survived another scare soon after. Huddersfield won the ball back inside the Lasses half, leading to a shooting opportunity for Kate Mallin, but Grace McCatty bravely blocked the powerful effort.
The hosts would take the lead in the 20th minute, however. McLaughlin was played in one-on-one before finding the bottom corner across the ‘keeper with a composed finish.
However, it wouldn’t last long as Sanderson caught Cowling off her line five minutes later to draw Huddersfield level.
McCatty went close ten minutes before the break, heading towards the bottom corner but Young inadvertently blocked the effort. The striker then got to the rebound but her effort on the stretch was saved.
McLaughlin also had a chance to retake the lead, but Millie Turner did well to cover across and force the Sunderland midfielder wide before her shot was saved.
Three minutes into the second half Huddersfield took the lead. Sowerby got in behind the Sunderland defence before lifting the ball over the onrushing Cowling.
Huddersfield sat tight for the remainder of the game, with Sunderland not able to create a clear cut opportunity.
McLaughlin tested Pederson with 20 minutes to play. The effort from outside the area was straight at the ‘keeper but she almost let the ball go under her before regained control.
Ramshaw went closest for Sunderland in the second half with her shot through a crowded area in the 91st minute saved by Pederson. Mollie Lambert fired just over the bar from range two minutes later.
A disappointing day for the Black Cats in their penultimate home game for the season. A final away game for 2018/19 against Guiseley Vixens awaits next Sunday (April 14th) before the final day of the season at home to Sheffield on May 5th.
Sunderland Ladies: Cowling, Beer, McCatty, Griffiths, Hutchinson (Gibson 77’), Lambert, Ramshaw ©, McLaughlin, Young (Mullen 61’), Barker (Farrugia 61’), Galloway
Subs Not Used: Stewart, Warren
Huddersfield Town: Pederson, Turner, Legge, Mallin © (White 80’), Harris, Sowerby, Nutter (Dobby 89’), Evans, Danby, Elford, Sanderson
Sub Not Used: Abbott