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8 Jan 2012
Sunderland 6 Nottingham Forest 1
Sunderland Ladies returned to action after the Christmas break with an emphatic win against Nottingham Forest at the Hetton Centre on Sunday. Beth Mead and Keira Ramshaw scored a brace apiece while Steph Bannon and Rachel Furness completed the scoring in a 6 – 1 victory.
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Forest settled quickly as Laura O’Neil broke down the wing to cross for Jemma Connor-Iommi to shoot wide. From the first corner of the game Sunderland came close as the ball was only partially cleared to Nicola Devine who’s effort just cleared the upright. The home side took the lead on 9 minutes when Steph Bannon played the ball through for Natalie Gutteridge to feed it wide for Devine to hit a deep cross for Beth Mead to head firmly into the net at the far post. A right wing corner caused panic in the visiting defence and as the ball was partially cleared Sarah McFadden struck a firm shot narrowly over. Sunderland did score a second though in the 15th minute as Ramshaw brought the ball down the right and slipped it inside for Kelly McDougall to set Mead free on goal and the young striker calmly chipped over the advancing keeper from just inside the box. Ramshaw and Devine then went close as Sunderland pressed forward at every opportunity. Fine play between Gutteridge and Ramshaw resulted in a shot by McDougall being turned around the post by Claire Wallhead and from the resulting corner Gutteridge saw her header hit the underside of the bar and bounce down onto the line before being cleared. More pressure from the Wearsiders from yet another corner saw an overhead kick from McFadden strike the bar before being scrambled away and as the ball was played back in Bannon was on hand to head home the third goal after 27 minutes. Sunderland continued to dominate with efforts from Furness and Gutteridge testing Wallhead before a fourth goal duly arrived in the 40th minute. Devine powered her way down the left before crossing into the middle for Ramshaw to slide the ball home from close in.

HT...Sunderland WFC 4  vs  0 Nottingham Forest LFC

Efforts by Ramshaw and McDougall went close as The Lady Black Cats began the second half as ended the first. Furness drove through the middle before unleashing a shot which was well saved by Wallhead. McDougall tried her luck with a lobbed effort from 20 yards out but with Wallhead back pedalling it dropped just over the bar. Soon after Mead received the ball on the edge of the “D” and cleverly turned her marker before shooting across the goal only to see Wallhead get a hand to it and the ball was then cleared off the line. Following a powerful run by Abby Holmes Furness saw her effort go wide before Mead again went close. Forest were trying to make a game of it as Andi Bell broke down the right to cross and with Aileen Whelan challenging the ball was cleared for a corner. Just as it seemed the scoring was complete the game burst back to life with three goals in the final 5 minutes. In the 85th minute Holmes and McDougall linked well to set up Ramshaw who skilfully hooked the ball home from the edge of the box. Devine went close again before the visitors grabbed a consolation on the break with just a minute remaining. A long ball from the back caught out the Sunderland defence and Whelan ran on to it to head over a stranded Rachel Laws.  Then in injury time Sunderland won a free kick wide right and Bannon delivered it perfectly into the box for Furness to head powerfully home at the back post.

FT...Sunderland WFC 6  vs  1 Nottingham Forest LFC

Sunderland... Laws, Holmes, Bannon, McFadden, Greenwell, Ramshaw, Furness, McDougall, Devine (Atkinson), Gutteridge (Lee), Mead.

Subs not used...Alderson, Wilson, Williams.

A happy manager Mick Mulhern spoke after the game...”I was delighted with our performance today. Probably our best home performance of the season.We used the ball very well from back to front and the finishing was of the highest quality.”


The Reserves drew 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers, with Charlotte Proud scoring for Sunderland. Match report to follow...

RESULTS: Sun 8 Jan, 2012
Coventry City P-P Barnet
Leeds United 3-2 Reading
Sunderland 6-1 Nottingham Forest
Cardiff City 0-1 Charlton Athletic
Watford 1-1 Aston Villa

Nottingham Forest (H) League Web Photo Display by v5.0
GALLERY:  Sunderland v Nottingham Forest  - click image for more photos