Nottingham Forest Ladies 0-6 Sunderland AFC Ladies
Sunderland got back to winning ways with a big away win at Nottingham Forest.
Two great goals from Niamh McLaughlin in two minutes gave the Lady Black Cats the advantage at the end of a weather affected first half.
The visitors pulled away in the second half, Keira Ramshaw’s scored a brace either side of Katie Barker’s 67th minute header before a dubious 91st minute goal, awarded to Bridget Galloway, wrapped up the three points.
Just before kick-off, as the players were completing their warm-ups, a heavy hail shower hit Eastwood, however it cleared in time for kick-off.
The game got underway but the hail hit again four minutes in and the referee brought the players off a minute later, delaying the game for around five minutes until it cleared.
With the game back underway, Sunderland were the first to have a chance. 11 minutes in, Maria Farrugia swung in a great corner from the right, finding Charlotte Potts at the back post but her powerful header was turned over the bar by Forest ‘keeper Emily Hallam.
Mollie Lambert tested the ‘keeper approaching the 20-minute mark. Hallam tried to push the Sunderland midfielder’s effort over the bar but pushed it straight up and was able to catch on the way back down.
Louise Griffiths went close just before the half-hour mark. Barker started the move, playing Farrugia down the right. She crossed back to the edge of the area for Griffiths, whose left-foot effort curled just wide of the far post.
Barker also missed narrowly four minutes after Griffiths after Galloway laid the ball back to the winger in the box but Barker’s effort just couldn’t curl inside the post.
Sunderland were finally rewarded for their dominance three minutes before half time. A great cross from deep on the left from Potts perfectly found the head of McLaughlin, who ran across her marker before lifting the ball over Hallam and into the net.
It would only take two minutes for The Black Cats to double their advantage and it was a moment of brilliance from McLaughlin, who excellently lifted the ball over Hallam from 25 yards out to double her tally for the afternoon.
After dominating the opening exchanges for the second half without reward, Sunderland got their third after 65 minutes. Skipper Ramshaw lashed the ball past Hallam from well inside the area after she slipped in behind the defence.
And once again would only be a two minute wait for the next one. Barker headed in at the back post, being the first in a crowd of players from both sides to get to the ball after a Farrugia shot from a tight angle on the left was pushed up towards the back post.
Sunderland continued to push, looking for a fifth. Only three minutes after coming on, Georgia Gibson went very close with her long range effort skimming the crossbar.
However, Ramshaw eventually got it in the 87th minute, with a shot from a similar area as her first. Hallam got a hand on the shot but not enough to stop the ball from going under her and into the bottom corner.
In the first minute of stoppage time, Sunderland got a sixth, but it wasn’t clear cut. Galloway’s powerful effort beat Hallam who once again got a hand to it. As the ball approached the line on target, Barker hammered the ball into the back of the net. Both players claimed the goal but Galloway was given it.
A positive display across the pitch saw the Lady Black Cats run out comfortable winners ahead of a home clash with league leaders Blackburn Rovers next weekend, Sunday 17th March.
Nottingham Forest Ladies: Hallam, Wilson, Bennett, Walters, Hewitt, Brown, Tyson (Sanderson 76’), Constantinou, Hickingbotham, Edwards, Middleton
Subs not used: Davies, Reek, Lancashire, Sullivan
Sunderland Ladies: Cowling, Griffiths (Warren 81’), McCatty, Potts, Kemp, Lambert (Gibson 72’), Ramshaw ©, Farrugia, Barker, McLaughlin (Hutchinson 67’), Galloway
Subs not used: Stewart, Young