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14 March 2013
Charlton 2 Sunderland 1

Sunderland Ladies� title push stalled as they slumped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Charlton on Sunday. Despite having the majority of the play the Wearsiders could not push home their advantage and they went down to a late penalty as they pushed for a winner against a plucky Charlton outfit.


Sunderland began slowly on a difficult surface as Keira Ramshaw played a dangerous ball into the area which was hacked clear before Beth Mead could take advantage. At the other end a great tackle by Gemma Wilson broke up a Charlton attack and Megan Beer completed the clearance. Vicki Greenwell brought the ball out of defence and cleverly played it over to Ramshaw who fired wide. Greenwell and Ramshaw combined to deliver a great ball to Becky Salicki who headed into path of Mead who fired into net but it was ruled offside. Fine play by the visitors saw Sarah McFadden flick a header into path of Mead who released Jordan Atkinson only to be denied by a last ditch tackle by a Charlton defender. The resulting corner from Mead was headed wide by Wilson. A Steph Bannon effort was well saved by Megan Lynch in the Charlton goal as the visitors pressed for a breakthrough. McFadden again brought the ball through the middle and she released the overlapping Greenwell who fired narrowly over the bar. A Charlton counter attack broke the deadlock after 44 minutes as Rosie Paye played in Gemma Shepherd to try a cheeky lob over Rachael Laws which went in off crossbar.


Half time: Charlton Athletic 1 vs  Sunderland WFC 0


Sunderland continued to dictate play at beginning of the second half as they pressed for an equaliser and Greenwell fired in a free kick which was well held by Lynch under pressure from Mead and Ramshaw. Then Abbey Joice cleverly turned her defender but her shot brought a fine save from Lynch. Another Greenwell free kick was hacked behind for corner but Bannon fired wide from the resulting flag kick. Laws floated a free kick into the box and McFadden saw her header deflected past the post. The resulting corner caused panic in the home defence as McFadden fired narrowly wide. Kelly McDougall then fed Mead in space but her effort went the wrong side of the upright. Sunderland grabbed the equaliser their play deserved after 66 minutes as Wilson and Bannon combined to release Mead who turned her marker and fired home. Abby Holmes released Atkinson who beat the defender and pulled the ball into the path of Ramshaw who just failed to get a good connection. A dangerous Ramshaw cross found Atkinson at far post but Charlton managed to scramble the ball clear. As Sunderland pushed for a winner Bannon fed Atkinson who crossed to Mead but her fine effort came back off the bar. Mead, Atkinson and McFadden went close before the visitors were dealt a late killer blow. As Charlton broke quickly Holmes tangled with a Charlton attacker who tumbled in the box and Shepherd sent Laws the wrong way from the resulting spot to get her second of the game.


Full time: Charlton Athletic 2 vs  Sunderland WFC 1


Sunderland: Laws, Beer (Holmes), Bannon, Wilson, Greenwell, McFadden, Salicki (McDougall),  Joice, Ramshaw, Atkinson, Mead

Subs (not used):  Christon, Sutcliffe, Caldwell


Manager Mick Mulhern could not hide his disappointment after the game...�We started slowly and played our way back into the game. We were in control and pushing for a winner. Unfortunately we committed football suicide in our own box and that's an awful way to end an 18 month unbeaten league record, very frustrating.�


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