Sunderland Ladies went four points clear at the top of the Womens Premier League National Division after a comprehensive 4-1 win over plucky Charlton. Goals from Beth Mead, Natalie Gutteridge, Keira Ramshaw and Sophie Williams extended the Lady Black Cats unbeaten start to the Season.

Before the game a minute’s silence was impeccably observed by players and supporters alike.
There was one change to the Sunderland side that drew away to Leeds in the cup with Nicola Devine coming in for Sophie Williams on the left.

The game began very sloppily, and this suited a very organised Charlton outfit.
With both sides failing to put a stamp on the game, it began to become scrappy and lacked flow as both sides seemed to need time to settle. The first real chance came from Sunderland right back Abby Holmes who curled an effort first time from thirty yards out on her left foot, which was acrobatically saved by Charlton shot stopper Kelly Cooper.

Sunderland were almost rewarded half an hour in after an in swinging corner wasn’t dealt with, and after some pinball in the box, Beth Mead poked the ball just over the bar.
Soon after Mead had another opportunity after been sent through by Holmes, Meads blistering pace, left her one on one with Copper, but the England U19 international shot straight at the keeper. Meads persistence was rewarded soon after, as on the 32nd minute a defence splitting ball by Furness allowed Mead to compose herself and shoot low past Cooper to open the scoring. Mead threatened once more just before the break but the home side went into the dressing room 1-0.


HT...Sunderland 1 vs 0 Charlton Athletic


Sunderland doubled the lead three minutes into the second half. Tricky play from right back Holmes at the by-line culminated in a deep cross which an under pressure Natalie Gutteridge headed off the bar and into the net.


Beth Mead’s electric pace was causing major problems for the visitors, and shots from her and Keira Ramshaw were both well blocked from a valiant Charlton back line. Charlton responded well to the setback, and 11 minutes into the second half they had a chance to half their deficit.


Stephanie Bannon was adjudged to have tripped Gemma Bryan in the area, and referee Gary McClelland pointed to the spot. Gemma Shepherd stepped up to take the kick, but the shot was saved by a stretching Laws. The visitors were to rue this miss, as Sunderland broke through Devine three minutes later, and her low cross was dummied by Mead and smashed home by Keira Ramshaw.


The lady Addicks manager Paul Mortimer made a change, bringing on winger Sarah McCrea and pushing Kit Graham more central. This change was to have an instant impact, as after good work from McCrea, Graham smashed home from just inside the area to give hope to the visitors.


Charlton had their tails up after Graham’s strike and started to threaten, but the experienced defensive pairing of Bannon and Wilson coped well. Sunderland though wrapped up the points a minute from time as Mead, once again causing problems, set up substitute Sophie Williams who comfortably slotted the ball home, and put the game to bed.


FT...Sunderland 4 vs 1 Charlton Athletic


Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Bannon, Wilson, Greenwell, McDougal, Furness, Ramshaw(Sutcliffe), Devine(Williams), Gutteridge, Mead

Subs not used: Salicki, Chidester


Mick Mulhern gave his view at the final whistle.....”I was absolutely delighted with the girls today. We had drawn the last two games and that's a blip by our standards. The response was magnificent and the players should be proud of themselves. Now we need to show consistency in the coming weeks.”


Report by Dom Hewitson


Attendance: 205


 The Reserves beat Nottingham Forest 4-1 with goals from Jordan Atkinson, Laura Hockaday (2) and Abby Joice.

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11 Nov 2012
Sunderland 4 Charlton 1
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