Blackburn Rovers Ladies 2-1 Sunderland Ladies
Sunderland Ladies kicked off a busy week with a narrow defeat at the hands of league-leaders Blackburn Rovers.
The Lady Black Cats got off to a flyer when Keira Ramshaw opening the scoring six minutes in. The skipper picked up the second ball before cutting in and firing a left footed effort into the bottom corner from just outside the area.
Blackburn started to threaten as the game moved past 10 minutes. Natasha Flint had several chances, with Allison Cowling saving well to deny her first effort before Charlotte Potts blocked bravely to stop her second attempt minutes later.
However, Flint got her side level 17 minutes in. A free-kick routine saw Natasha Fenton set the striker up for a shot, with Flint finding the bottom corner.
Rovers completed the turnaround five minutes later as Sunderland failed to clear their lines after Cowling saved an initial effort from Flint.
The ball was played back to the striker just outside the six-yard box, a quick faint saw her evade a challenge from Grace McCatty before calmly placing home.
Sunderland responded well and should’ve equalised before the half-hour mark, however, Potts’ header hammered the right-hand post after Georgia Gibson picked her out with a corner.
Debutante Potts, who joined the Lasses earlier in the week, made several vital defensive stops as the contest went on before Blackburn missed the chance to go in at the break with a two-goal cushion as Lagan Makin denied by Cowling, who turned the ball away with a great reaction save.
Sunderland's other debutante, Maria Farrugia, was the first to test either 'keeper in the second half. Farrugia opened up room for a strike but a deflection took the pace out of the effort and Danielle Gibbons collected easily.
The Lasses continued to come on strong in the second 45 as substitute Mollie Lambert was the next to go close to levelling things up. Lambert worked a decent opening from distance but her sweetly-struck effort left the frame of the goal rattling as Blackburn held out to secure the points.
Next up, Middlesbrough…
Blackburn Rovers Ladies: Gibbons, Jukes, Sheppard ©, Holbrook, Davies, Fenton, Jordan (Donoghue 85’), Flint, Makin (Taylor 71’), McDonald, Fletcher
Sunderland Ladies: Cowling, Beer, McCatty, Potts, Kemp, Gibson, Ramshaw ©, Farrugia (Lambert 68’), Young (Atkinson 68’), Barker, Galloway
Subs not used: Stewart, Warren, Skull