Stoke City Ladies 4-4 Sunderland Ladies
Sunderland Ladies were forced to settle for just a point as Stoke City struck late at Community Drive.
The Lady Black Cats took an early lead, Emily Hutchinson scoring in the 12th minute. Stoke hit back shortly after, Kelsey Richardson getting her first before doubling her tally and giving the Potters the lead in the in the 41st minute. However, Keira Ramshaw’s strike in added time tied things up at the break.
A Faye McCoy penalty saw Stoke retake the lead in the 65th minute but Ramshaw would equalise once again before Ramshaw completed her hat-trick to give Sunderland a late advantage with 83 minutes played.
With winning line insight for the Lasses, Stoke had the last laugh as McCoy’s free-kick in stoppage time rescued a point.
Sunderland made a number of changes with Charlotte Potts leaving the club and Maria Farrugia away on international duty. Megan Beer and Louise Griffiths returned to the side, seeing Hutchinson returning to her favoured left wing after filling in at left back last time out.
The Lasses were the brighter side at the start, Ramshaw gave a flash of what was to come with a powerful, swerving free-kick after four minutes.
Hutchinson opened the scoring after 12 minutes. Ramshaw played a free-kick up to the back post where Grace McCatty crossed the ball back into the middle of the area. Hutchinson got there, turning the ball home with a cushioned side foot volley.
However, the lead would be short lived as eight minutes later Sunderland failed to clear a cross before the ball dropped for Richardson to poke home.
Sunderland were still seeing the majority of possession but weren’t creating chances, and the visitors paid the price with four minutes of normal first-half time remaining, once again failing to clear their lines. A free-kick from early Stoke substitute McCoy saw McCatty head the ball back across her own goal where Richardson turned the ball home.
There was another twist, however, before the half was out. Ramshaw scored her first of the afternoon to level things up again, drilling the ball into the bottom corner at Amy Burnside’s near post two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the first half.
Ramshaw almost got Sunderland in front within two minutes of the restart, firing a shot across the face of goal just wide.
But it would be Stoke who reclaimed the lead after 65 minutes, Griffiths adjudged to have brought down Leanne Robinson in the box. McCoy took the penalty and sent Allison Cowling the wrong way to retake the lead.
The Stoke advantage was brief as Ramshaw levelled the scores five minutes later with a powerful free-kick arrowing in at the near post.
With seven minutes to play the visitors finally got their noses in front with the pick of the goals for Ramshaw to complete her hat-trick. The captain hit a half volley past Burnside from a tight angle to give Sunderland something to defend.
However, it wasn’t to be. After wasting possession at the opposition end, Sunderland would see the referee award a free-kick to the hosts just outside the area as the game entered stoppage time. McCoy found the top corner with the free-kick to get her second of the afternoon and give Stoke a point from the game.
Stoke City Ladies: Burnside, Hudson (Chipman 75’), Roberts, Hyde, Pemberton, Richardson, Hughes, Keryakoplis (McCoy 39’), Bowyer, Owen, Robinson (Hayes 75’)
Subs Not Used: Kivel, Kolbuck
Sunderland Ladies: Cowling, Beer, McCatty, Griffiths, Mullen, Lambert, Ramshaw, McLaughlin, Barker (Gibson 74’), Hutchinson (Young 74’), Galloway
Subs Not Used: Stewart, Skull