Beth Mead looks to build on great start for Sunderland Ladies

PENALTY: Beth Mead is fouled by Tara Murray

PENALTY: Beth Mead is fouled by Tara Murray

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BETH Mead had a Women’s Super League 1 debut to savour – now she wants more nights like that.

The Sunderland Ladies striker inspired the WSL1 new girls to a famous 2-1 win at reigning champions Liverpool on Wednesday night.

Mead scored the first goal with an emphatic header and then won the second-half penalty which recent signing Brooke Chaplen fired past Reds keeper Libby Stout.

After shocking England’s top team, in front of a watching nation live on BT Sport, it might be understandable for Sunderland to celebrate their success long and hard.

But the 19-year-old forward believes the Lady Black Cats must build on that rather than bask in the glory.

“It was a massive confidence booster for us,” Mead told the Echo.

If we play that sort of football, coupled with the determination we showed and our belief, I think we can do very well

BETH MEAD

“But we’ve obviously set the bar now by winning that game against the champions.

“We’ve got to look to do that for the rest of the season now.

“If we play that sort of football, coupled with the determination we showed and our belief, I think we can do very well.”

Mead was in fabulous form in her first start in the highest echelon of the English game.

She linked up superbly with Chaplen, who was a real livewire until late on when the absence of pre-season action caught up with her.

Mead could easily have had both away goals at the Halton Stadium, given she is the designated penalty-taker.

But the teenager was watching from the sideline after receiving treatment after being brought down by Tara Murray.

“If I wasn’t off the field, I’d have been on it,” said Mead. “But didn’t Brooke take it well?

“She’s a great addition to the squad and that’s why the club have brought her in. She played really well.”

Chaplen was also involved in Mead’s opener, a collector’s item, a headed goal from Keira Ramshaw’s pinpoint right-wing cross. “The keeper made a mistake and I was in the right place at the right time,” she said modestly. “I don’t score many headers, but I’ll take that.

“It was great to score, but it was the win that mattered and it was good we could go out there and prove a point.”

Sunderland have indeed proved in just 90 minutes that they belong in WSL1.

But the big games come thick and fast – next up it’s moneybags Manchester City at Eppleton CW on Wednesday night (kick-off 6.30pm).

“Hopefully we’ll get a good crowd and give them a good game,” said Mead.

“We’re playing well, we’re creating chances and getting different people on the scoresheet.

“We defending well too and we must look to keep playing the way we are.”