Sunderland Ladies 0-2 Durham Women
Sunderland suffered their first home league defeat of the season on their return to Eppleton as they were beaten by Durham Women in the River Wear derby.
Two second-half goals, a free kick from Beth Hepple and a goal from Molly Lambert, ensured the away side’s victory.
Sunderland started on the front foot and a free kick for Charlotte Potts deflected out for a corner.
Potts was issued a yellow card for a late challenge, but the resulting Durham free kick on the edge of the box was blocked by the wall.
The Lasses almost took the lead from a corner as Neve Herron found space on the edge of the box, but her shot was parried away by Megan Borthwick.
Emily Scarr found herself bearing down on goal from a through ball, beating the defender and curling an effort just wide of the far post.
Durham found space down the right side and the cross fell to Bridget Galloway, but a superb block from Grace McCatty denied the away side the chance to take the lead.
The away side tested Claudia Moan for the first time 40 minutes in, with Molly Lambert’s strike held well by the Sunderland goalkeeper.
Sunderland responded well, with Scarr being released again through the middle, but her left-footed shot was gathered cleanly by Borthwick.
The Lasses could have ended the half in style as the ball fell to Jessica Brown at the back post in stoppage time, but her shot hit the side netting, ending a hard-fought half.
Despite the tentative start to the half, Durham took the lead in the 58th minute as Hepple’s left-sided free kick was driven low past Moan.
The fiery nature of the game continued in the second half with strong tackles flying in, and Herron was booked for a tough challenge on Galloway.
Durham doubled their lead in the 76th minute as Lambert’s shot beat Moan and found the far corner.
Chances were scarce for Sunderland as the game went on, with Durham defending well to prevent a comeback.
Attention turns to Thursday’s Continental Tyres League Cup against Sheffield United.
Sunderland AFC: Moan; Herron, Mullen, McCatty, Griffiths, Ramshaw ©, Scarr, Brown (Farrugia 59’), Kelly, Joice (Manders 80’), Potts (Actherhof 45’)
Subs not used: Cowling, Blakey, McInnes, Beer
Durham Women: Borthwick, Hill, Salicki, Christon (Holmes 55’), Wilson ©, Robson, Hepple (Brown 82’), Bradley, Briggs, Lambert, Galloway (Roberts 71’)
Subs not used: Mackain, Johnson