SAFC Ladies took their first three points of the season on Thursday evening, beating local rivals Middlesbrough at the Stadium of Light.
Neve Herron opened the scoring for Sunderland after 14 minutes, but Jasmine McQuade equalised for the visitors in the 31st.
Sunderland pulled clear in the second half, as Maria Farrugia and Keira Ramshaw found the net in the 67th and 78th minutes respectively.
Danielle Brown pulled one back three minutes into stoppage time but it wasn’t enough to deny Sunderland a first win of the season.
Melanie Reay switched things up after defeat at Hull City. The injured Faye Mullen was replaced by Holly Manders, with Erika Warren replacing Megan Beer.
Middlesbrough would be first to test the ‘keeper, Tyler Dodds saw her powerful effort saved well by Claudia Moan after three minutes.
They went close again soon after as Leonie Hutchinson found Elysia Boddy at the back post, but she shot wide.
Herron would strike first for Sunderland however, finding the top corner with a well struck effort as she cut in from the left.
Both sides continued to push, but Boro would strike back, McQuade left with a simple finish after a great run and cross from former Black Cats Dodds. Neither side were able to break the deadlock before the break.
Farrugia and Ramshaw went close just after the restart, Rosie Todd making a double save for Boro.Farrugia would break the deadlock with 23 minutes to play, hitting a thunderous strike into the top left corner after some good play from Abbey Joice in the build up.
Eve Blakey went close after coming on, she did well to turn her marker but shot just wide across the face of goal.
Ramshaw would add a third in the 78th minute, calmly finding the bottom corner as she cut in from the right. Joice once again the provider after being lively all game for the Black Cats.
Sunderland looked to preserve their lead and almost held out, but former Black Cat Danielle Brown found the top corner deep in stoppage time after beating a defender.
The Lasses took their first win of the season, and Wear-Tees bragging rights at the Stadium of Light, though, with momentum to carry into Sunday’s game at Huddersfield Town.
Sunderland AFC: Moan, Herron, McCatty, Ramshaw ©, Scarr, Farrugia (McInnes 90’), Brown, Watt, Warren (Blakey 66’), Joice, Manders (Griffiths 45’)
Subs Not Used: Cowling, Beer
Middlesbrough: Todd, Wilson (Olley 59’), Foster, Cassidy, Dodds, Hutchinson © (Robson 82’), Young. McQuade, Boddy (Dixon 63’), Bell, Brown
Subs Not Used: Dale, Maxwell