Sunderland WFC get off to the best possible start in their first home game of the season with a 7-0 demolition of Barnet.
Sunderland showed their intent from the first minute with wave after wave of attack, and the first goal was scored before some spectators had even found their seat, with last seasons top scorer Beth Mead cutting inside on her right from 8 yards and placing the ball into the far right corner after just 4 minutes.
With Barnet coming to the Hetton Centre knowing its always a tough game against last seasons double winners, their task just got a lot harder with that shocking start.
After Sunderlands mens game against Reading yesterday being called off due to a waterlogged pitch, the ladies werent able to be presented at the Stadium of Light with their league and cup trophies, but they took centre stage at the Hetton Centre today, and their silverware seemed to spur on the girls.
Ramshaw and Williams were very dangerous on either flank for Sunderland, their wing play was carving chance after chance for Sunderland.
After a couple of half chances for the home side they eventually had a clear cut opportunity to double their lead. Vicki Greenwell with good work on the left delivering a delicious ball to the back stick where the impressive Williams was unmarked, but she miss timed her jump and headed over the bar form inside the 6 yard box.
Barnet still hadnt got started, young winger Chontelle Lawrence made a few tricky mazy runs from midfield but they provided no end product.
Sunderland, their dominant selves, were creating chances, with really good wing play from the pacey Ramshaw, ended in a good shot from Kelly McDougal but straight down the throat of Barnet keeper Rowlands.
After an extremely controlling first twenty minutes from the Lady Black Cats, Barnet had their first shot on a target, a very tame effort from number 11 Lawrence, dribbled through to Laws who wasnt troubled.
Sunderlands cross field balls from each wing was proving very effective, and on the 28th minute, a well work throw in on the half way line ended in Sophie Williams who guided a pin point ball to the onrushing Keira Ramshaw who showed strength and composure to smash the ball powerfully over the Barnet keeper from an acute angle on the right.
The two goals still werent enough to get Barnet going, as every time they tried to put a few passes together it was easily snuffed out by the industrious midfield trio of Furness, McDougal and Gutteridge.
After a header wide from Ramshaw, the intent from Sunderland was still there, and you could sense there was going to be more goals, and sure enough there was on the 44th minute. Persistent play from Gutteridge and good flowing movement from the Sunderland forward line ended with Mead drilling in a low ball into the box which was spilled by Cherie Rowlands, straight into the path of Ramshaw who stroked the ball home from 4 yards.
After an abject first half performance from Barnet, even the home fans were hoping for a bit more of a spirited fight from the travellers, instead of just complete Sunderland dominance.
This hope was completely extinguished within 7 minutes of the restart when McDougal broke down the right and her cross come shot lobbed over the helpless Rowlands, off the post and into the back of the net.
Barnet, a very physical side, still couldnt stamp their authority on the game, Cheryl Williams had a couple of free kicks, but they were straight at Rachael Laws and everytime they tried to counter attack their clearances landed to the feet of the Sunderland players, which seemed to demoralise Barnet.
Sophie Williams who troubled all day long, deserved a goal for her determined wing play, and her 30 yard shot created Sunderlands 5th, as Rowlands tipped it onto the bar, straight to young Beth Mead, who couldnt miss, and slid the ball home.
Barnets dejected players continued to battle, but when Leanne Reidy handled in the area, the game was out of site, as midfielder McDougal smashed the ball home, from the resulting penalty.
With the game over as any sort of contest, Barnet were playing for pride, and after Sophie Williams had broken through and struck the post moments earlier, Barnet had their first clear cut chance of the game with Jenny Kikomeko through on goal, but was thwarted by the rarely troubled Laws.
To cap off a superb all round performance from the hosts, substitute Abby Holmes, after a poor punch from the Barnet keeper, drove into the box and slotted the ball home on the 88th.
Another impressive and controlling performance from the Lady Black Cats, ends in an emphatic 7-0 win against Barnet, to keep them on top the table going into the league cup Weekend.
FT...Sunderland WFC 7 vs 0 Barnet Ladies
We dominated from start to finish against an experienced side. We are a young squad, yet the most pleasing aspect was the maturity and decision making of the players both on and off the ball. The players were fantastic today and that's not a word I use often.
Sunderland...Laws, Christon(Holmes). Wison, Bannon(Chidester), Greenwell, Ramshaw, McDougall, Furness(Caldwell), Williams, Mead, Gutteridge,
Report by Dom Hewitson.