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12 May 2013
Aston Villa 0 Sunderland 3

The Lady Black Cats took another step closer to retaining the National Premier League title on Sunday following an impressive display against League Cup winners Aston Villa at Boldmere St Michael’s. A late first half goal by Kelly McDougall gave the visitors the advantage and second half goals by Beth Mead and Abbey Joice sealed a comfortable victory.

 

Sunderland started brightly with some fine possession play in the early stages. The first effort on goal came following a Kelly McDougall freekick which was headed narrowly wide by Keira Ramshaw. At the other end, an Aston Villa freekick was well held by keeper Rachael Laws. A long clearance was knocked on by Beth Mead to McDougall who appeared to be pulled back as she was through on goal but the referee waved away strong claims for a freekick. A quick throw by Vicky Greenwell fell to Abbey Joice who saw her effort well saved by Villa goalkeeper Megan Walsh as the Black Cats began to put pressure on the home side. Sunderland's defence had limited Villa to long range efforts and a timely tackle by Gemma Wilson broke up a home attack with Abby Holmes completing the clearance. A Steph Bannon freekick was headed goal wards by Wilson but Walsh saved well before McDougall fired home the rebound, only to be denied by the offside flag. On the stroke of half-time Sunderland took the lead following another Bannon freekick which was headed on by Sarah McFadden into the path of McDougall who cleverly lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net to give the Wearsiders a deserved lead.

 

Half time: Aston Villa LFC 0-1 Sunderland WFC

 

Sunderland continued where they left off in the first half as Abbey Joice picked up the ball in the middle and played it out wide for Sophie Williams to hit a great cross into the area which was met by Mead to glance a header into the far corner and double Sunderland's lead. Further efforts by Ramshaw and Mead almost added to the lead, whilst Wilson and Greenwell combined well to limit any real Villa efforts at goal. Excellent build-up play led to Sunderland’s third goal as Ramshaw laid the ball off for McFadden who's through ball found Joice who calmly slotted the ball past Walsh into the far corner. Soon after Emma Kelly replaced Ramshaw to make her Sunderland debut. As the visitors eased off, the home side went in search of a consolation goal but were denied by the post with Greenwell on hand to clear the rebound. A long ball over the top of the visiting defence was dealt with comfortably by Laws as she ran out of the area to head the ball away in what was the last action of the game.

 

Full time: Aston Villa LFC 0-3 Sunderland WFC

 

Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Bannon, Wilson, Greenwell, McFadden, McDougall,  Joice, Ramshaw (Kelly), Williams, Mead

Subs (not used): Alderson, Salicki, Atkinson, Beer

 

Manager Mick Mulhern spoke after the game... “I am delighted to get all three points at Villa as it’s a hard place to come and get a result. My players have grown up a lot in the last year and that was shown today in the professionalism we displayed, especially in the second half.”

 

A big thank you to our mascot Will from Stratford upon Avon, pictured with Capt Stephanie Bannon and goalscorer Beth Mead. Will plays for Stratford Town Colts (Blue) U10s
My players have grown up a lot in the last year.
               
             Manager Mick Mulhern
GALLERY:
 Aston Villa v Sunderland - click image for more photos