Sunderland Women were knocked out of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup after falling to a defeat against Southampton FC Women at Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground.
In a close encounter where the first 45 ended goalless, Katie Wilkinson scored a second half brace to put the visitors name into the hat for the next round.
Sunderland got off to a quick start and almost broke the deadlock inside the first five minutes but Mary McAteer’s effort from a tight angle was pushed away from danger by Beth Howard.
The visitors created their first opportunity on 15 minutes when Molly Pike collected Wilkinson’s pass from the right, but the attacker failed to keep her bending effort on target as it sailed over Claudia Moan’s crossbar.
Southampton came within inches of taking the lead on the half-hour mark after Pike broke down the right-hand side and slid the ball through to Rianna Dean six yards out, but Moan was well positioned to deny the striker from close range.
Katie Kitching forced Howard into a smart stop on 37 minutes after some neat build-up play from Mollie Rouse. The midfielder’s threaded pass allowed Kitching to race through on goal, but the Saints stopper comfortably saved her attempt.
Moan was called into action moments after the interval; the goalkeeper was quick off her line to get down low and steer the ball away from Wilkinson’s boot as she closed in on goal.
Southampton took the lead on 55 minutes when Wilkinson latched onto Megan Collett’s perfectly timed cross before firing past Moan from point blank range.
The hosts should have equalised inside the final 10 minutes, substitute Katy Watson unlocked the Saints defence with a clever pass, but Liz Ejupi’s shot inside the 18-yard box rolled agonisingly wide of Howard’s near post.
The visitors all but sealed victory on 88 minutes when Lucia Kendall’s driven cross from the by-line found Wilkinson four yard out to double her tally for the afternoon with a well taken diving header.
The Lasses return to league action next Sunday afternoon when they host Sheffield United at Eppleton.
SAFC Women: Moan, Brown (Scarr 71’), Westrup ©, Goddard, Griffiths, Dear, Fenton, Kitching, Rouse, McAteer (Watson 71’), Ejupi.
Subs not used: Borthwick, McCatty, McInnes, Beer, Jones, Cassap.