Chelsea-slaying Sunderland Ladies start Continental Cup at Durham

Victoria Williams in action for Sunderland against Durham at New Ferens Park. Picture by FRANK REID.
Victoria Williams in action for Sunderland against Durham at New Ferens Park. Picture by FRANK REID.
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Sunderland may have achieved the result of the women’s football season but they are not prepared to “take their foot off the gas”.

That was the message from defender Tori Williams as the Lady Black Cats prepare to face Durham Women in the Continental Tyres Cup at New Ferens Park.

There are no easy games in WSL1 or WSL2 and we treat every match the same, there can be no complacency

TORI WILLIAMS

Carlton Fairweather’s side go into the opening group match of the league cup on a high after blitzing Chelsea 4-0 in Women’s Super League 1.

The leaders had only conceded three goals all season until being ripped apart by a Beth Mead-inspired Sunderland.

Now, the Lady Black Cats go from taking on the title favourites to travelling to their neighbours, who are at the wrong end of WSL2 (kick-off 7.30pm).

“We’ve really raised the bar and done well in the league,” Williams told the Echo.

“But we can’t take our foot off the gas – we want to make a name for ourselves in the cup.

“Speaking to the girls, they didn’t get the results they wanted in the group stages of this competition last year.

“It’s important to do a better job this time to try to do as well as we can.

“There is no limit to what this squad can do.

“Some people may have been surprised by what we did, but we believed we could do it.

“But we take nothing and no game for granted.

“There are no easy games in WSL1 or WSL2 and we treat every match the same, there can be no complacency.

“We prepare for Durham the same way as we do every game. They’ll be thinking they can come out and beat us.

“We enjoyed Saturday night and we know how important that win was, but we said after the game that we needed to turn our focus on Durham.”

The Continental Cup also involves two of the WSL1’s biggest clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea, plus Williams’ hometown club, Doncaster Belles, who are favourites for promotion from WSL2.

And the ties are interspersed with WSL1 fixtures – the Lady Black Cats visit bottom club Bristol on Saturday.

Williams added: “The games are coming thick and fast, I think we have five in two weeks.

“We’re only half-way through the league and there’s still a lot of football to play.”

Fairweather is likely to give starts to Abbey Joice, Sarah McFadden and Emma Kelly.