Sunderland Ladies 5 Newcastle United Women 2 | North East Sports News
Sunderland Ladies hit five as they overcame rivals Newcastle Women at the Academy of Light.
Keira Ramshaw scored a quick-fire double inside the opening five minutes with Neve Herron’s deflected volley sending Mel Reay’s side into the break with a dominant lead.
Goals from substitutes Emily Hutchinson and Holly Manders put the game beyond doubt in the second half before former Black Cats Katie Barker and Georgia Gibson struck late on.
Following the end of the month-long national lockdown restrictions, the teams met on Wearside looking to build up fitness ahead of their return to competitive action next week.
The hosts, perhaps looking to avenge a narrow defeat to the Magpies in pre-season, took the game to their opponents from the first whistle, Ramshaw slotting the ball past Laura Wareham after Eve Blakey’s run into the box and pass found the midfielder unmarked at the far post.
Minutes later, it was two – Louise Griffiths’ cross rebounded to Blakey who nudged the ball to Ramshaw to double Sunderland’s advantage with an almost identical finish.
Sensing more goals, Griffiths, Abbey Joice, Herron and Ramshaw all tried their luck from distance but failed to trouble Wareham. On the half hour, England youth international Herron claimed the home side’s third, her deflected volley wrong footing the Newcastle goalkeeper who could only watch as the ball flew into her net.
With opportunities at both ends the game began to open up, but it was Sunderland who looked always looked the more likely to score – and they almost did from the spot when Libbi McInnes was tripped when through on goal. The youngster stepped up to take the penalty, but Wareham pulled off a fine save diving to her left.
At half time head coach Reay rang the changes with Blakey, McInnes, Emily Scarr and Claudia Moan replaced by Jessica Brown, Hutchinson, Manders and Alison Cowling, with the latter called on almost immediately to deny Gibson.
But it was Hutchinson – recently returned from a loan spell at South Shields Ladies as she steps up her recovery from a long-term injury – who scored Sunderland’s fourth with a shot which squirmed under the unlucky Wareham and trickled over the line.
Just after the hour, Joice jinked her way past Newcastle’s back line but saw her effort parried into the path of Manders who tapped in from close range to round off a five-star display.
With 10 minutes to go, the Magpies pulled one back through Gibson which sparked hopes of a fight back, but despite Barker nodding in a looping as the games entered stoppage time, it was the Wearsiders who claimed victory in the latest Wear-Tyne Derby.
Sunderland will be hoping to carry the afternoon’s confidence boosting performance into their FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division clash with Derby County next Sunday, while Becky Langley’s side will be looking to bounce back for the visit of Barnsley in the Women’s FA Cup Second Round.
Sunderland Ladies: Moan (Cowling 46’), Herron, McCatty, Beer (Studholme 68’), Mullen (Towers 60’), Griffiths (Corney 68’), Ramshaw (c), Joice, Scarr (Manders 46’), McInnes (Hutchinson 46’), Blakey (Brown 46’)
Newcastle United Women: Wareham, Cole (Packham 72’), Wilkinson (Stewart 46’), Lock (c) (Tait 79’), McKenzie, Guy (Harland (79’), Gibson, Gray, Longcake (Soulsby 46’), Foster, Barker