11 Dec 2011
Sunderland 2 Leeds 0
Sunderland Ladies took the honours in the top of the table clash as they completed the double over their Yorkshire rivals.
The 3 points meant the Lady Black Cats returned to top spot in the Womens National Premier League. First half goals from Sophie Williams and Natalie Gutteridge ensured victory in a thrilling encounter at the Hetton Hetton Centre.
Both teams began the game tentatively and very few chances were created at either end. The visitors were on the back foot as Sunderland began to push on with Sophie Williams and Beth Mead going close. Then as Leeds broke down the right with Leah Galton the danger was averted as Nicola Devine blocked the danger. As both teams battled hard to take control Mead ran on to a good ball from Keira Ramshaw only to be ruled offside. Then as Leeds pushed forward Galton tried her luck from 25 yards out but her shot was well held by Rachel Laws. The pace of Williams was causing problems for the visitors but she couldnt find a way through the solid Leeds rearguard. After a frantic opening the breakthrough came in the 13th minute when Rachel Furness found Williams on the left and she drove at the Leeds defence, beat two defenders and gave the Leeds keeper Jules Draycott no chance as she fired home from 18 yards. This settled the Wearsiders and they began to control the flow of the game. Sunderland went two up in the 18th minute as Ramshaw crossed from the right and as Natalie Gutteridge closed in her effort deflected off a defender and over the keeper into the roof of the net. Further efforts from Mead and Furness went close before Abby Holmes set up Mead but her shot was well held by Draycott. Leeds were not out of it though as Jess Holbrook crossed but Laws smothered the danger from the advancing Carey Huegett. Leeds continued to push forward and won a free kick in a dangerous position but strong defending by Captain Steph Bannon and Sarah McFadden prevented any clear openings.
HT...Sunderland WFC 2 vs 0 Leeds Utd Ladies
Leeds made two substitutions at the start of the second half in an effort to make an early impression. Both sides battled hard to take control but it was Sunderland who pushed forward and won two corners in quick succession. From the resulting flag kicks a Furness header was cleared off the line and then another header from McFadden just cleared the bar. Leeds then broke quickly down the right only to be caught offside. It was end to end stuff as the game opened up with both teams going forward at every opportunity. Leeds striker Millie Bright headed wide following a good cross from the left. At the other end a firm header from Furness went narrowly wide before Mead found herself in space but she could only fire low into the side netting.
FT...Sunderland WFC 2 vs 0 Leeds Utd Ladies
Sunderland..Laws, Holmes, Bannon, McFadden, Devine, Furness, McDougall, Gutteridge, Ramshaw, Williams, Mead. Subs:- Alderson, Atkinson, Christon, Greenwell, Lee, Salicki, Wilson.
Photo Gallery for Web Site by VisualLightBox.com v4.8
GALLERY: Sunderland v Leeds United - click image for more photos