Sunderland women's Reserves faced a long journey to South London for a league cup quarter final encounter with Charlton Ladies Reserves. The fixture had been postponed previously due to bad weather, but it was a fine bright day that saw the game get underway in calm and dry conditions.

Sunderland looked bright in the early stages, and they pressed the home side hard - preventing them from having time on the ball. This brought Sunderland a succession of free kicks that tested the home defence, but clear attempts on goal were not forthcoming. Even so Sunderland continued to press, with Laura Venison and Hannah Caldwell impressing in midfield they were finding time and space to pass and retain possession. A powerful shot from Caldwell beat the home keeper, but cannoned off the underside of the bar and the defence cleared the danger as the Sunderland forwards tried to convert the rebound. An unenforced break in play to change the match ball disrupted Sunderland's momentum, and with five minutes remaining in the first half Charlton went ahead with two well taken counter attacking goals that were there first real foray's into the Sunderland half.


Despite being behind at the break Sunderland had played very well in the first half and they continued in a similar vein in the second period. Once again Sunderland enjoyed good possession and they forced a series of corners but the Charlton defence was defending well. However from another corner the referee awarded Sunderland a penalty for pushing in the box. Jane Riddell placed her kick wide of the keeper and was unlucky to see her well struck shot rebound back to her and Riddell slotted the rebound home - the officials however correctly disallowed the goal as no other player had touched the ball. Despite this setback Sunderland continued to press and they restricted Charlton to playing on the break - but this turned out to be an effective tactic for them. With Sunderland desperately trying to get back into the game they had to commit players forward, and from one attack Charlton scored a decisive third goal with 15 minutes remaining. Sunderland kept going however, and they battled hard for a breakthrough and a consolation goal - but Charlton added two more in the closing five minutes as they secured their place in the semi finals.


Trevor Atkinson commented after the game "I was very proud of the way we played today - despite the scoreline we enjoyed some good periods of possession and displayed some high quality play. This was a very young team and they showed all the hallmarks and characteristics of the way Sunderland play the game and the way they conduct themselves. On another day we would have converted those long periods of possession into goal scoring chances and the scoreline may well have been closer. But I'm very proud of the players - they have been a credit to the club and I'm sure they will have more opportunities like this in the future"


Team; Luther, Beer, Bell, Ryan, Riddell, Chrisiton, Caldwell, Venison, Proud, Hockaday, Middleton (Unwin)






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11 Dec 2012
Reserves knocked out of Cup
"I was very proud of the way we played today" - Assistant Manager Trevor Atkinson