IDEAL HOLMES

Abby Holmes in action against Millwall
Abby Holmes in action against Millwall
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SUNDERLAND goalden girl Abby Holmes is determined to end the season on a high.

The 19-year-old right-back scored the goal that sealed the FA Premier League title for Sunderland Women last week.

Her late goal in the 3-2 win at Millwall was enough to leave the Lady Black Cats home and dry ahead of their nearest challengers Nottingham Forest.

But Holmes is keen to see out the remaining two games of the season – the first is at bottom side Barnet tomorrow – and press home their superiority. Sunderland have lost just once in the league this season – in their opening game of the season – and are eight points clear at the top.

“Looking back over the season, the team has done brilliantly,” she said. “We have lost a few of our key players to the Super League, but the new players brought in have fitted into the squad seamlessly.

“Winning the league was our main target at the start of the season as we knew we had the quality to do it.

“All the girls and everyone associated with the club were disappointed that we didn’t get into the Super League, but we knew it was important to kick on from that setback and prove why we want to be there in the near future.

“Winning the title was fantastic, but we still aim to finish on a high and will try to win both games. We want the best finish possible and six points will end the season off nicely. Then we can look forward to next season!”

Holmes’s headed winner last week capped a great fight-back from Sunderland with two late goals – the first scored by midfielder Kelly McDougall – being enough to seal the league title.

“I think everyone thought the game was there for the taking after Kelly Mac equalised with a wonder strike from long distance,” added Holmes.

“Everyone suddenly started believing and we all raised our games. Even at 2-1 down, we all had the confidence that we could come though and win the game.

“We had a sequence of corners near the end and we kept getting closer every time.

“Normally I stay back for corners but thought the gamble was worth it, so pushed on. Thankfully the ball ended up in the back of the net!

“To score the crucial goal in a game of that calibre it was the icing on the cake for me! As a defender, I don’t score many goals. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will when we lift the cup next week.”

It’s been a great year for the tough-tackling defender, who has missed only one game, and that was through suspension.

“I am pleased with how this season has gone,” she said. “It’s been good for me, and there is a lot to look forward to. We have a young team and I think we can achieve great success in the future.”