2nd December
Cup Victory . . . Sunderland 5 - 1 Tranmere Rovers
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Sunderland are the league’s form team and were confident going into this FA Cup tie against Tranmere Ladies, having beaten the visitors just a fortnight ago. The game was switched to Albany Park and began in driving rain. The home side started strongly and pushed forward at every opportunity. Early efforts by Natalie Gutteridge and Nicola Devine were scrambled clear before Sunderland took the lead on 10 minutes. Steph O’Brien broke well down the right and crossed for Lucy Bronze to control, turn and shoot into the top corner.

O’Brien and Danby both went close before Tranmere’s first effort on goal brought a smart reaction save from young keeper Rachel Laws after half an hour. Two minutes later Tranmere again went close following a quick break but Laws was alert to turn the ball round the post. Sunderland increased their lead after 35 minutes when Sarah Danby picked the ball up 30 yards out and weaved past several defenders to hit a hard low shot into the bottom corner. Devine saw her shot strike the bar as the ball was scrambled away. From the resulting corner Sunderland scored their 3rd goal when Danby’s vicious inswinger was superbly headed home by Gutteridge.
HT… Sunderland Women 3 vs 0 Tranmere Rovers Ladies

The second half began at a slower pace but Tranmere served a warning on 64 minutes when sloppy home defending allowed Sue Kenwrightson to go clear but she was denied by a fine save from Laws. Two minutes later however Kenwrightson got her goal when she broke clear down the left and scored at the near post. This spurred Sunderland on and they restored their 3 goal advantage on 68 minutes. Danby surged through the middle and slipped the ball through for Rachel Lee who confidently chipped the ball over the keeper. O’Brien and Danby went close before Emma Bentley saw her header come back off the post. Six minutes from time Jess Havelock won the ball in midfield and cleverly worked it through to Danby who stuck her second and Sunderland’s 5th of the afternoon. FT… Sunderland Women 5 vs 1 Tranmere Rovers Ladies

Boss Mick Mulhern was obviously pleased with the result : "The conditions weren’t ideal but we played some delightful football and could have scored more goals. Our confidence is growing and we are getting better and better.”

Sunderland...Laws, Fry (Clarke), Wilson, Bannon, Holmes, O’Brien (Havelock), Lee, Bronze, Gutteridge (Bentley), Danby. Subs..Alderson, Burnip.

Sunderland, currently joint 2nd in the league, are back at the Hetton Centre next Sunday when they take on leaders Nottingham Forest. KO is 2pm.
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