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4 March 2012
Leeds 1 Sunderland 1
Sunderland Ladies travelled to Yorkshire on Sunday as they got their League Cup Group Stage match underway against Premier League rivals Leeds Utd.











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There  was  not  much  to choose between the teams as they played out an entertaining
1-1 draw in very difficult conditions. Nicola Devine had given the Wearsiders a first half lead before a late Hayley Sharp strike ensured honours were even.
 
Leeds started brightly as Galton, Huegett and Sykes tested Rachel Laws. At the other end the visitors replied as Beth Mead saw her effort smartly collected by Draycott. It was end to end stuff as both sides tried to take a grip on the game but the breakthrough came in the 30th minute as the Lady Black Cats took the lead. Natalie Gutteridge picked up a loose pass and released Nicola Devine who ran through before driving the ball high into the Leeds net. Leeds responded as Galton tried to capitalise on sloppy defensive play but pulled her shot wide when well placed. Sunderland pushed forward and Sophie Williams and Kelly McDougall both went close before Leeds almost grabbed an equaliser on the stroke of half time as Gutteridge headed off the line following a Leeds corner.

HT...Leeds Utd Ladies 0 vs 1 Sunderland Ladies

Sunderland started the second half on top as Mead broke down the left but was brought down on the edge of the box. McDougall’s free kick was scrambled clear but the visitors appeared to be gaining the upper hand as Leeds were being pushed quite deep. The home side were proving dangerous on the break however as Huegett went clean through only to be denied by a brilliant tackle by Sarah McFadden as she prepared to shoot. Gutteridge seemed to have a good claim for a penalty when she was hauled down in the Leeds box but the referee appeared unsighted. The home side grabbed an unlikely equaliser in the 70th minute following the award of a dubious free kick. As the ball was played into the box the Sunderland defence failed to clear and the ball broke to Hayley Sharp who couldn’t miss from close in. Both sides pushed for a winner as McFadden saw her header come back off the post following a left wing corner. Then in the dying moments a quick Leeds break saw them completely miss the target from a good position. In stoppage time McDougall almost finished off a fine move perfectly with a stinging shot which Draycott did well to save.

FT...Leeds Utd Ladies 1 vs 1 Sunderland Ladies
 
Sunderland... Laws, Salicki,  Bannon, McFadden, Greenwell, Lee, McDougall, Gutteridge, Williams, Devine, Mead.
Subs: Wilson, Christon, Caldwell, Atkinson, Chidester

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