Mel Reay has expressed her disappointment at her side’s performance and result as Sunderland Ladies lost 3-1 to London City Lionesses on Sunday.

Atlanta Primus and Karin Muya gave the hosts a deserved lead at half time with Amy Rodgers putting the game beyond doubt on the hour. Although Kiera Ramshaw pulled one back from the spot in stoppage time, it was an afternoon to forget for the Black Cats.

And Reay pulled no punches in an honest assessment of Sunderland’s slow start and display at Princes Park and conceding what she described as ‘preventable’ goals.

“We’ve travelled a long way to get here and to not show up in the first half like we did was really disappointing,” Reay told FA Player. “We’ve ended up giving ourselves a mountain to climb in the second half.

“We conceded really early in the half and then 10 minutes before half time, it was a bit of a sucker punch and really preventable as well.

“The way we came out in the second half we had more of the ball, we got the consolation goal at the end, and it was a much more positive performance.”

Reay faced a defensive crisis heading into the game following Charlotte Potts’ release and injuries to full-backs Megan Beer and Faye Mullen, with midfielders Neve Herron and Jess Brown tasked with filling in.

Despite being overrun at times in the first half, Sunderland were much better after the break with their hard work rewarded with Ramshaw’s consolation goal.
And it’s that resolve the head coach will be hoping to see more of in this weekend’s clash against Lewes.

Reay added: “That’s a positive in terms of the spirit we’ve got within the camp. There’s a determination to keep going and improve and they showed that spirit in the second half.

“But we need that for 90 minutes, not just 45.”