Former Sunderland star Steph Houghton eyes title

England captain Steph Houghton (Man City) is challenged by Belles'  Courtney-Sweetman Kirk
England captain Steph Houghton (Man City) is challenged by Belles' Courtney-Sweetman Kirk
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Sunderland may not be getting their hands on the Women’s Super League trophy – but one local hero might.

Manchester City ended the Lady Black Cats’ hopes with last night’s 1-0 win at the City Academy Stadium.

We are just pleased to have got the points against Sunderland

Steph Houghton

City are five points behind Chelsea but have a game in hand and with their final three games at home, remain hopeful of overhauling the Londoners.

The Sky Blues’ skipper is Steph Houghton, the former Sunderland star, from South Hetton.

“It’s a big advantage playing our last three games at this magnificent stadium and we’re just pleased to have got the points against Sunderland,” she said.

And Houghton believes silencing the WSL1’s top scorer, Beth Mead, was the key to victory. Mead has 11 goals though she only had one real chance last night, England keeper Karen Bardsley saving low down 16 minutes from time.

“Carlton Fairweather has done a great job at Sunderland,” said Houghton. “They have talented players and Carlton has them disciplined and organised and they are winning games because they have a striker who can score goals.

“Sunderland played well here but we defended well and kept Beth Mead quiet, she is their main threat.”