Sunderland Ladies 1 Nottingham Forest Women 0 | North East Sports News
Sunderland Ladies overcame the elements and a determined Nottingham Forest Women side to claim a vital win in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division.
Playing In awful weather, Keira Ramshaw’s strike just before the hour was enough to give the Wearsiders’ a deserved three points at the Academy of Light.
Choosing to kick into the swirling wind, Sunderland had best of a frantic first half as both teams struggled against the conditions.
The first chance fell to midfielder Maria Farrugia who clattered the bar from close range with Grace McCatty drawing a point-blank save from Aja Aguirre.
Seconds later the Black Cats had a penalty appeal turned down when Emily Scarr, keeping the ball alive, went down under a challenge on the edge of the box. Scarr found Kiera Ramshaw with the resulting free kick but her shot was blocked for a corner.
Although Forest had opportunities of their own, Rosie Axten and Rebecca Rayner trying their luck from distance, the hosts looked the more likely to open the scoring.
First, Farrugia tried her luck with a free-kick from 30-yards before Abbey Joice played in Ramshaw whose curling effort flew past the post. Joice, looking Sunderland’s main attacking threat, shot wide herself with Scarr and then forward young forward Eve Blakey also failing to hit the target.
With the break approaching, the final chance of the half fell to Ramshaw, but her low drive was well gathered by the Forest ‘keeper.
Mel Reay’s side carried their momentum into the second period, Aguirre – under pressure from Blakey – scuffed her attempted clearance straight to Ramshaw who sliced wide.
Malta international Farrugia had another attempt at goal before Sunderland finally broke the deadlock in the 57th minute. Joice found Ramshaw on the edge of the six-yard box after an incisive passing move between the two sliced through the Forest defence, and the Black Cats captain smashed the ball across goal into the net.
Sensing more goals, Sunderland continued to push for a second, Ramshaw hitting the side netting and forcing another good save from Aguirre who then denied Scarr after being slipped through by Farrugia.
Forest were always dangerous on the counter, Rayner and Charlotte Steggles both failing to find the net. With 15 minutes to go, Rayner whipped cross was met by Lucy Johnson who volleyed marginally wide.
The Reds’ best chance came with a minute to go, Moan somehow clawing the ball away on the goal line to secure Sunderland’s first clean sheet of the season and a much-needed victory with Loughborough Foxes up next at the Academy of Light.
Sunderland: Moan, Beer, McCatty, Herron, Griffiths, Mullen, Ramshaw (c), Joice, Scarr, Farrugia, Blakey (Manders ‘72).
Subs not used: Cowling, Warren, McInnes.