The Reserves travelled to Sheffield Wednesday in their first league game of the season and started the game very brightly, with Emma Bentley and Stacey Simpson looking sharp. The visitors had a number of players making their debut for the club, as well as some players making their first appearance since returning, all of which settled in very well, giving outstanding performances.
Both Emma Bentley and Stacey Simpson had good chances before Simpson finally broke the deadlock. Emma Bentley then added a much deserved second, with an instinctive reaction to a ball bouncing in the box.
Lauren Ramshaw and Emma Bell also had good chances, both efforts going narrowly over the bar, before Emma Bell showed great
awareness, as her step over allowed the ball to run through to Jess Havelock, who made no mistake with a low shot across the goalkeeper into the bottom corner.
HT... Sheffield Wednesday Ladies 0 - 3 Sunderland Ladies
The second half started well for Sheffield Wednesday, who began to ask more questions of Sunderland's back four, who were playing into bright sunshine. Sheffield's pressure saw them pull a goal back very early into the half, giving the home side some hope. Sunderland however, defended well and weathered the attacks by Wednesday. The visitors then started to apply their own efforts and look to further their advantage, as Emma Bell was unlucky not to cap a great performance in midfield with a goal, as she had a header hit the cross bar and one cleared off the line. Lauren Ramshaw also saw her 25 yard volley beat the goalkeeper, only to be denied by the crossbar once again.
Lynsey Fletcher in her first competitive 90 minutes since returning from a bad knee injury, saw her workrate rewarded with a goal, following a Jess Havelock corner. Fletcher managing to nip in ahead of the defenders to turn the ball goalwards, with Lyndsey Bell rounding off the scoring with her first goal in two years.
Manager Mark Pae said ... "Sheffield Wednesday proved tough opposition for our first league game of the season. We had many players making their debuts for the club, so it was never going to be easy, however, there were many positives to come out the game. The pitch made it hard work for those playing on the wings, as well as our full backs who like to join in the attacks. Our fitness levels proved key, playing on an uphill pitch and the hot conditions made life difficult but we scored five and we could of had more on another day. Overall, a great way to start the season."
FT... Sheffield Wednesday Ladies 1 - 5 Sunderland Ladies