Sunderland got pre-season off to a bright start with a five-goal win at Redcar on Thursday evening.
It took five minutes for the scoring to begin, as Georgia Gibson found the bottom corner. Keira Ramshaw doubled the advantage with 22 minutes played.
Bridget Galloway took over after that, scoring two headers and a powerful strike to complete the Black Cats’ scoring.
It was an evening for debuts, with Charlotte Potts, Jessica Brown, Abi Cottam and Claudia Moan all starting after signing this week. It’s didn’t take long for two of them to make an impact.
Five minutes in, Brown won the ball back just outside Sunderland’s box before driving forward. Her cross found Cottam, with the ball ending up with Gibson via Ramshaw. Gibson slotted the ball into the far corner with a tidy left-foot finish.
Cottam and Ramshaw each went close in the next 15 minutes. Cottam looked to place an effort back across goal but fired just wide while Ramshaw’s shot was save after a nice bit of passing play.
But Ramshaw would find the net in the 22nd minute. It wasn’t as powerful an effort from the skipper as we’ve come to expect but it beat the ‘keeper, finding the bottom left-hand corner.
Cottam’s first goal continued to evade her, with two shots save and one hitting the bar in the 26th and 33rd minutes.
Sunderland would add two more before the break through Galloway. She found the net with a powerful header across goal with 10 minutes left before the break.
Three minutes later she added her second, this time powerfully striking the ball in from inside the area.
Galloway completed her hat-trick four minutes after the restart. Half-time substitute Emily Hutchinson picked the striker out after some good play down the left, and Galloway’s looping header evaded the ‘keeper and dropped in at the far post.
Mollie Lambert couldn’t have been closer to a wonder goal to start her season, but the bar denied her long-range half volley in the 55th minute.
Cottam once again saw a shot saved after turning her marker inside-out on the edge of the area as the search continued for her first and Sunderland’s sixth.
Two of the sides young trialists made an appearance as the game drew to a close, linking up nicely with Ramshaw but unable to get on the scoresheet.
A solid first run out for the Lasses who face Norton & Stockton Ancients on Sunday behind closed doors at the Academy of Light.
Sunderland Ladies: Moan, Brown (Barker 46’), Beer (Stewart 46’), McCatty (Skull 74’), Potts (Warren 52’), Mullen (Hutchinson 45’), Lambert, Gibson, Ramshaw, Cottam (Trialist 79’), Galloway (Trialist 79’)
Unused substitutes: Cowling