Sunderland failed to make their possession count as they gifted Blackburn a two goal start and fell to their second home defeat in three league games.
Blackburn made the ideal start when a Rachael Laws goal kick dropped short and Nikki Harding pounced to drive in on goal, her cross leaving Natalie Preston a simple tap in to give Rovers a 3rd min lead. Abby Holmes brought the ball out of defence to set Nicola Devine clear on the left but her cross was collected by Krystal Parker in the Rovers goal.
Sunderland were pushing forward in search of an equaliser but were being caught out as Blackburn countered swiftly. Danielle Sheen twice went close to increasing the lead before Prestons shot went narrowly wide when well placed. Natalie Gutteridge produced the home sides first effort on goal after 15 mins, following good work by Demi Stokes, but Parker made a fine save.
Moments later Gutteridge had the ball in the net but it was chalked off for a foul. Holmes then played in Gutteridge who laid the ball off for Stokes to drive goalward but Parker made the save. The Blackburn goal seemed to lead a charmed life following a scramble in which Gutteridge, McDougall and Nobbs had efforts cleared. The visitors doubled their lead after 29 mins when Sunderland failed to clear their lines and Katie Anderton followed up her own shot to score from close in. Nobbs and Holmes went close to reducing the arrears as the half closed with Rovers frustrating all of Sunderlands efforts.
HT... Sunderland Ladies 0 vs 2 Blackburn Rovers Ladies
Sunderland began the second half forcefully as substitute Sophie Williams controlled a Nobbs through ball to shoot into the side netting. Williams and Gutteridge then combined for Holmes to drive a shot just wide of the goal. A Blackburn free kick caused problems for the home side before Gemma Wilson cleared the danger. Then a powerful Lucy Staniforth run down the right saw Williams just fail to connect as she ran in on goal before Sunderland finally pulled a goal back in the 65th min. Devine brought the ball through and released Nobbs who picked out Williams to cleverly lob Parker and give the home side hope. Sunderland threw everything forward in search of the equaliser but Staniforth, Nobbs and Gutteridge could not find a way past Parker. Williams again went close before Gutteridge was denied as Parker, in the Rovers goal, was having the game of her life. Rovers still posed a threat, however, as Kate Ward ran clear but Laws saved well in what was the final action of the game.
FT... Sunderland Ladies 1 vs 2 Blackburn Rovers Ladies
Sunderland... Laws, Holmes, Bannon, Greenwell(Williams), Halliday(Wilson), Stokes, Staniforth, Nobbs, McDougall, Devine, Gutteridge. Subs (not used)..Salicki, Unwin, Colledge A, Colledge C.