Sunderland Women claimed an impressive 3-0 victory over Sheffield United Women on Sunday afternoon at a windy Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground in the Barclays Women’s Championship.
The first half ended goalless despite Sunderland comfortably controlling proceedings. The Lasses returned from the break in similar fashion and deservedly took the lead through Ellen Jones before a brace from Emily Scarr sealed victory.
Jenna Dear missed the match through suspension, with Grace Ede returning to the squad after illness last weekend.
Sunderland came within inches of taking the lead when Scarr collected Katie Kitching’s through ball and delivered a perfectly timed cross, but Jones was unable to control the ball with her shot hitting Fran Stenson’s side netting.
Mel Reay’s side were the more dominant of the two teams in the opening exchanges of the match and Natasha Fenton was next to force Stenson into a neat stop from 20-yards out.
Katie Kitching had the best opportunity for the home team inside the opening 20 minutes, but the attacker’s close-range volley was brilliantly pushed over the Blades’ crossbar by Stenson.
The host continued to apply the pressure inside the final five minutes of the first half, Stenson’s punched clearance from Fenton’s corner fell to Kitching 12 yards out but the winger’s return header was off-target and rolled inches wide for a goal kick.
Mollie Rouse was next to go close for the Black Cats in the closing moments of the first half, but the midfielder’s header deep inside the visitor’s box rolled agonisingly wide.
Sunderland did manage to find the back of Stenson’s net deep into first half added time, but Jones’ tap-in was ruled out as Scarr was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Sheffield United created their first chance of the match on 54 minutes, but Bex Rayner’s bending attempt was brilliantly saved by a full stretch Claudia Moan.
The deadlock was finally broken a minute later when Jones capitalised on a loose pass before composing herself to slot the ball into Stenson’s bottom left-hand corner.
Sunderland doubled their advantage two minutes later when Kitching picked out Scarr inside the danger area with the striker making no mistake and firing past a helpless Stenson.
The away side looked to have pulled a goal back inside the final 10 minutes, but Moan was quick off her line and down low to pull off a fine save.
Scarr’s drilled effort wrapped up all three points on 84 minutes, the striker was picked out by substitute Katy Watson before sending her shot through the hands of Stenson to add a third.
The Lasses return to action in the Continental Tyres Cup on Wednesday evening when they welcome Women’s Super League side Aston Villa to Eppleton CW.
SAFC WomenI: Moan, Griffiths, Westrup ©, Goddard, Brown, Fenton, Rouse, Kitching (McInnes 66’), McAteer (Corbyn 77’), Jones (Watson 77’), Scarr
Subs not used: Borthwick, Ejupi, Beer, McCatty, Ede.