Beth Mead's second goal settled the game nine minutes from time
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4 Dec 2011
Reading 0 Sunderland 1
Sunderland Ladies continued their quest to retain their Premier League crown with a hard fought 1-0 victory at Reading Ladies on Sunday.

Beth Mead's 40th minute strike proved enough to secure all 3 points in a dour encounter of few chances.

Sunderland started brightly with a succession of corners. Reading weathered the early storm and began to enjoy much of the possession. The home side won a free kick deep into the Sunderland half but the effort on goal was well saved by Rachel Laws. Reading pushed forward and Watts broke free but Gemma Wilson got back well to block the danger. Reading continued to press and Laws did well to block at close range.  A quick Sunderland break saw a good cross by Sophie Williams find Keira Ramshaw on the edge of the box but her effort on goal was scrambled clear by the Reading defence.   Kelly McDougall fired a free kick which went narrowly wide.  The Wearsiders took the lead in the 40th minute when Ramshaw found Beth Mead just inside the 18 yard box. She cleverly turned her marker to fire across the keeper and low into the bottom corner. Sunderland continued to press forward with Ramshaw firing in a shot which was deflected for a corner. Sophie Williams then broke away but her shot on goal was well saved by the home keeper.

HT...Reading Ladies 0 vs 1 Sunderland Ladies
The second half proved to be quite a stalemate as both sides battled hard with neither team creating many chances. A Kelly McDougall header went narrowly over the cross bar before Rachel Furness surged forward and played a clever one two with Mead but her effort was easily held by the keeper.  The Sunderland defence continued to be strong and denied Reading any clear opportunities.

FT...Reading Ladies 0 vs 1 Sunderland Ladies
Sunderland...Laws, Holmes, Wilson, McFadden, Devine, Ramshaw, McDougall, Furness, Williams, Gutteridge, Mead (Greenwell). Subs not used.. Alderson, Atkinson, Cauldwell, Christon, Saliki,Bannon.
Mick Mulhern was pleased with the result.... “It was a gritty performance on a poor pitch which didn’t help our style of play. But we adapted very well and showed a great deal of character. I’m delighted to get all 3 points as not many teams will win at Reading.”
Sunderland striker Beth Mead scored the only goal of the game
Photos - Cindy Christon