Perfect conditions for football set the scene for the third home game of the season against a Liverpool side that set up as 4-3-3 and from the outset were very busy, especially in midfield. Early exchanges followed with both sides keen to impress. After 13mins a ball through into the centre of the Sunderland defence allowed Liverpool to score, despite Kate Luther managing to get a hand to the ball, 1-0 Liverpool.
Sunderland continued to pressure down the right flank and won a corner. From that a cross was flicked on at the near post and with a well timed run Robin Chidester smashed a superb volley into the roof of the net leaving the Liverpool goalkeeper rooted to the spot and levelling the score 1-1.
Liverpools hard working midfield three continued to cause problems for Sunderland however they were unable to turn that into any real threat on the Sunderland goal. The game continued at pace and the defensive pressing of Sunderland prevented Liverpool from extending the score line.
HT: Sunderland 1 Liverpool 1
Sunderland continued to press quicker and deal with the Liverpool midfield in a much more focused manner at the start of the second half, with the wide midfield players tucking in when not in possession. A great run down the left flank allowed Jane Riddell to calmly lift the ball over the advancing Liverpool goalkeeper and make it 2-1 to Sunderland. A controversial moment then ensued as a long range effort from 45 yards appeared to have landed into the Sunderland net. Despite Liverpool claims, the linesman was well placed to see and did not give the goal. The ball had landed over the bar and rolled down the back of the net. This was confirmed later via video evidence.
Sunderlands two forwards continued to cause problems with good runs in behind and a goal was disallowed for offside after a great cross from Erin Middleton was side footed into the goal from Jane Riddell. Charlotte Prouds hard work was rewarded on the 65min after she forced an error in the Liverpool defence on the edge of the penalty area and was able to round the goalkeeper for a well taken goal, 3-1 Sunderland. On the 88min a quick switch of play from Abbey Joice found Jane Riddell in space and she curled a great finish into the top right hand corner of the Liverpool net, to go 4-1 up.
As full time beckoned, a final foray into the Sunderland half resulted in a free kick to Liverpool on their right flank. A below head height delivery was whipped across into the Sunderland penalty area and through the crowds of players found its way into the bottom left hand corner of the net, handing the visitors their second goal of the game.
FT: Sunderland 4 Liverpool 2
Reserve Team Manager, Gary Mitchinson commented A good all round solid display from the team today. Liverpool provided a great test for us and we responded with a good performance. We continue to progress as a team and I was pleased for the players today, as they deserved the win.
Sunderland: Luther, Whiteley, Bell (46, Ryan), Venison, Devine, Chidester, Joice, Christon, Riddell, Proud, Middleton.
Scorers: Chidester (17), Riddell (52, 88), Proud (65)
Reporter: Roy Chinnigstam
Sunderland Womens Reserves continued their home league programme on Sunday and welcomed Liverpool LFC to Leyburn Grove. A good solid performance saw the Wearsiders work hard against a very busy Liverpool side that provided the greatest test so far this season. In an entertaining game Sunderland edged it with a 4-2 win.