The tough ask just got a whole lot tougher as two minutes into the game a long ball delivered in behind down the right flank allowed Edwards to run forward and slot the ball home. This was then followed by a corner four minutes later which Archibald glanced into the net making it 2-0 after 6 minutes.
Desire and resilience are key in situations like this and Sunderland needed to work hard at getting back into the game. In the 12th minute a forward pass found Jane Riddell who had made an intelligent run in behind the Coventry defence and as the keeper advanced curled a shot into the right hand side of the goal. A minute later from the restart and with sustained pressure from Sunderland, it was Jane Riddell again who managed to pounce onto a loose ball in the six yard box and smash the ball home. This was just the response that was required.
Sunderland continued with the pressure and Abbey Joice notched her first goal for the club with a stunning strike from outside the area. The Coventry keeper stood no chance as the ball was despatched into the roof of the net, making it 3-2 to the lady black cat’s reserves after 20 minutes.
Coventry responded and made it 3-3 in the 41st minute with an attack down their left flank with a goal from Seivwright. Jane Riddell not content with her earlier brace then went one better and claimed her hat-trick, making it 4-3 just before half time.
The second half got underway after some well needed rest from the heat. Sunderland started brightly with Abbey Joice and Stephanie OBrien making their presence felt in midfield. As a result of some clever combination play between Charlotte Proud and Abbey Joice on the right flank, an inviting forward pass was made into Coventry’s final third. Laura Hockaday had a lot to do but her determination allowed her to get in front of both the Coventry defender and advancing Goalkeeper to curl a shot into the net making it 5-3 to Sunderland.
A corner from Coventry then ensued and somehow managed to find its way into the net in the 65th minute making it 5-4.
Good play down the right flank caused a lot of problems for Coventry and as the ball was played across the penalty area it fell to Nicola Devine who had made a great run from left back. An assured finish followed as her first touch set up the ball onto her left foot with a well placed shot into the right hand corner of the goal, 6-4 to Sunderland. In the 80th minute, a well timed forward run from Erin Middleton allowed her to get in behind the Coventry defence and with great confidence calmly lifted the ball into the net over an advancing Goalkeeper with a very well taken goal.
Sunderland increased the pressure in the last 10mins of the game and when Charlotte Proud’s shot was handled in the penalty area, referee McCabe had no doubt and blew for a penalty. The penalty was converted by Proud and Sunderland won the game 8-4.
Reserve Team Manager, Gary Mitchinson said this after the match “Despite the challenges that we faced in today’s game, the desire and resilience of the team was exceptional. I am very proud of how the 11 players reacted to a tough ask today. They have worked really hard for a well deserved win.”
Sunderland: Luther, Beer, Bell, Venison, Devine, Riddell, Joice, OBrien, Proud, Middleton, Hockaday.
Scorers: Riddell (12,13,40), Joice (22), Hockaday (63), Devine (67) Middleton (80), Proud (85)
Reporter: Roy Chinnigstam
Sunderland Women’s Reserves travelled to Coventry for their first away game of the season. With a really hot day in store and limited options in terms of squad size due to injuries, it was always going to be a tough ask.