Report: Derby day delight for Lasses in cup tie

Sunderland Ladies 3-2 Newcastle Women 

It was derby day delight for Sunderland Ladies as they defeated rivals Newcastle Women to secure their place in the next round of the FA Women’s National League Cup. 

The Magpies opened the scoring against the run of play 11 minutes in through Bethany Gardener.

Sunderland drew level via a Jessica Brown wonder strike in the 23rd minute before she put the hosts ahead in the 45th.

Newcastle didn't lie down, though, and Imogen Longcake equalised with 20 minutes left. 

However, Bridget Galloway won Sunderland the game in the 75th-minute to seal the Lasses’ route into the next round of the cup competition.

The Black Cats made a shape change as well as two personnel switches, with Louise Griffiths and Abi Cottam dropping out for Megan Beer and Katie Barker. 

It could have been the perfect start for Sunderland, as Charlotte Potts headed off the bar from a Georgia Gibson corner four minutes in.

But it would be Newcastle who took the lead 11 minutes in. Gardener won back possession 25 yards out before lifting the ball over Allison Cowling and in.

Newcastle 'keeper Grace Donnelley saw her side keep their lead, pulling off three good saves from Mollie Lambert and Bridget Galloway.

Sunderland eventually found their equaliser midway through the opening period, and what a goal it was!

Sixteen-year-old winger Brown, on her home debut, beat a defender before hammering the ball into the top corner from 25-yards out. 

She almost had her second only three minutes later, driving a first time shot low across goal. Once again Donnelley dived to save well. 

Sunderland pushed for the lead and got it with the last kick of the first half. Gibson's free-kick was battled for at the back post, dropping perfectly for Brown who turned the ball into the bottom corner. 

Galloway had a chance to open the gap four minutes after the restart, although it was by no means easy. She flicked Katie Barker's cross just wide of the far post.

Potts made a vital challenge on Jessica Foster in the 64th minute, as the Newcastle attacker looked to shoot on the edge of the area. 

With 66 minutes played, and the defender almost got her goal with a powerfully struck free-kick. Donnelley made a great save low to her left to turn the set piece around the post.

The fragile one-goal gap would prove so, as Longcake lobbed Cowling in the 69th-minute to draw Newcastle level.

And substitute Jayden Maxwell almost made an immediate impact. Grace McCatty on hand to stop her counter. 

Maria Farrugia almost got Sunderland the lead back in the 73rd-minute, chipping Donnelley only for Ellen Packham to clear the effort off the line. 

It would only take two minutes for the elusive third though. Brown did excellently on the right, winning possession and beating her defender and cutting back for Galloway. The inform striker finally got her goal, sliding the ball across goal and into the bottom corner.

Sunderland looked to close out the game from there. Brown fires just wide with five minutes to play before Potts and McCatty each broke up Newcastle attacks.

Progression to the next round of the FA Women's National League Cup confirmed in nervy circumstances on the ladies big day at the Stadium Of Light.

Sunderland Ladies: Cowling, Beer, McCatty, Potts, Mullen, Gibson (Herron 78'), Lambert ©, Farrugia, Brown, Barker (Cottam 68'), Galloway 

Subs not used: Moan, Stewart, Griffiths

Newcastle Women: Donnelley, Packham, Lock, Mark, Hennessey, Gray, Tait (Gilchrist 62'), Olley, Foster (Maxwell 70'), Longcake, Gardener (McKenzie 70')

Subs not used: Curtis, Guy

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