Sunderland Ladies 3-1 AFC Fylde Women
Sunderland Ladies secured a rewarding three points at the Academy of Light on Sunday afternoon, after coming out on top 3-1 against AFC Fylde Women.
An early Grace McCatty opener tilted the Lasses in front inside two minutes, before a second-half equaliser from Sadie Mitchell for the visitors.
Neve Herron put the Black Cats back in front with six minutes remaining, and substitute Holly Manders wrapped up the game for Melanie Reay’s side in the final stages. The win lifts Reay’s team into seventh in the FA Women’s Northern Premier Division.
The Lasses flew out of the blocks, with Maria Farrugia finding herself through on goal, with her effort denied well by the Fylde goalkeeper.
The chance to go ahead however was far from gone, as McCatty proved when she won the second ball from a corner delivery on the left flank, and guided a curling hit into the top corner 10 yards from goal to put the hosts in front.
An end-to-end affair saw Fylde test Claudia Moan in the Sunderland net on a couple of occasions, Emily Hollinshead and Natasha Webster each trying their luck but being denied by the stopper.
Eve Blakey was also inches away from doubling our advantage, seeing a shot inside the area cannon back against the post.
Visitors Fylde pushed early in the second half for a leveller, and duly found one 18 minutes after the restart when Mitchell pulled away at the far post to volley in Laura Merrin’s inswinging corner to make it 1-1.
Manders along with Jessica Brown were introduced to the fray by manager Reay in the second period and showed their impact on the game, whilst both sides pushed for a winner in an increasingly open contest – Louise Griffiths struck just wide for the Lasses, as Webster and Jodie Redgrave passed up gilt-edged chances at the other end.
Some great pressing high in the Fylde half by Sunderland saw us win a corner with six minutes to go, finding the reward when Herron stabbed home a convincing finish inside the area, which would turn out to be a crucial winner.
And the three points were gift-wrapped in the final minute of the 90, as Manders advanced through on goal, and slotted a neat side-footed effort into the net to make it game, set and match to Reay’s Lasses.
Sunderland: Moan, Beer, McCatty, Herron, Griffiths, Mullen, Ramshaw © (Brown 67’), Joice, Scarr, Farrugia, Blakey (Manders 72’).
Subs not used: Cowling, Warren, McInnes.