West Bromwich Albion Women 0-2 Sunderland Ladies
Sunderland Ladies got their 2019-20 campaign underway with a two-goal win and a clean sheet at newly promoted West Bromwich Albion.
Bridget Galloway brought her pre-season form into the league, opening the scoring after 26 minutes before Katie Barker wrapped up the three points with a tidy finish in 11 minutes from time.
It was a day for debuts in the Sunderland ranks, with Charlotte Potts, Jessica Brown and Abi Cottam getting the nod to start. Neve Herron would eventually make her competitive bow from the bench.
Sunderland had an opportunity to open the scoring after seven minutes. Faye Mullen did well down the left before clipping the ball through for Galloway, but brave goalkeeping from the Baggies stopper Olivia Walker denied the forward.
Sunderland dominated the ball without reward until the 26th minute. Galloway got on the end of a long ball from Potts before doing enough to lift the ball over the ‘keeper’s head to open the scoring.
Galloway would head wide seven minutes later after a floated free-kick from Gibson picked her out.
The second half was quiet in the way of chances, with Sunderland knocked by an injury to substitute Emily Hutchinson in the 74th minute, only six after coming on. However, her replacement would be vital as the Black Cats doubled their lead shortly after/
Herron took possession as the visitors countered, beating the West Brom full-back on the halfway line before driving forward. The young defender cut inside before playing a perfectly weighted reverse pass to fellow substitute Barker. Barker finished well, calmly curling the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.
It was then over to some hard work on the defensive end, as the Black Cats battled hard to hold a desperate West Brom at bay for the final 10 minutes.
Melanie Reay’s side came through a physical first game of the season with three points, capitalising as a number of rivals drop opening day points.
Sunderland Ladies: Cowling, Potts, McCatty, Griffiths, Brown, Mullen (Hutchinson 66’, Herron 74’), Lambert ©, Gibson, Farrugia, Galloway, Cottam (Barker 57’)
Subs Not Used: Moan, Stewart, Beer