SUNDERLAND Ladies were tonight in Wunderland after winning 2-1 at reigning champions Liverpool.
The home side started as big favourites at the Halton Stadium but a Beth Mead-inspired Lady Black Cats scored a goal in each halfn to take all three points.
Mead put Carlton Fairweather’s team ahead on 28 minutes when she headed in Keira Ramshaw’s super cross from the right.
And when she was brought down by defender Tara Murray it gave debutant Brook Chaplen the opportunity to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot 12 minutes from time.
Murray pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute for Liverpool but Sunderland were not to be denied.
Sunderland almost gifted Liverpool a ninth-minute lead, letting Nicole Rolser clean through.
Rachael Laws and Tori Williams denied her a shooting opportunity, forcing her to go back to Ingrid Ryland who shot wide of the home goal.
Liverpool threatened again in the 12th minute when they tried to get Rolser down the centre but Tori Williams showed good speed to get back and tidy up.
The Lady Black Cats had the first sight of Libby Stout’s goal in the 16th minute but Sarah McFadden shot bobbled harmlessly to the Liverpool keeper.
But Sunderland Ladies went 1-0 up in the 28th minute through MEAD.
Chaplen was at the heart of the build-up, but it was a great cross from the right by Ramshaw which set up the goal with Mead powering in her header from six yards.
The Ladies had a spring in their step and Rachel Furness fired over with left footer on half hour.
Liverpool tried to come back and put over a deep cross from the right but Laws came out and made a safe catch.
Sunderland though were looking good and they threatened again seven minutes before the break.
McFadden started the move with Chaplen and Mead linking up well again but the cross evaded Abbey Joice.
Half-time: Liverpool 0 Sunderland 1
Liverpool were the first to show in the second half, Ryland’s dangerous cross forcing Holmes to concede corner which Sharp cleared.
Furness threatened for Sunderland Ladies in the 54th minute, combining well with Ramshaw before hitting a shot with the outside of her foot from 22 yards which Stout saves high to her left.
Sunderland came at the Reds again a minute later when Chaplen tried her luck from outside the area but she could not connect cleanly and her shot went high over.
Liverpool had shouts for 58th-minute penalty after Rolser went down in box but referee Simms waved away their appeals.
Sunderland made their first change in the 66th minute when Sophie Williams came on for Rachel Furness.
Liverpool boss Matt Beard made his opening sub on 72 minutes, Lucy Staniforth coming on for Oshoala
Sunderland doubled their lead in the 78th minute.
Mead was tripped by Tara Murray after cleverly beating the defender down the left of the box.
The striker had to go off for treatment so up stepped CHAPLEN who fired the penalty high to Stout’s left with the keeper going the wrong way.
Liverpool were soon back in it when MURRAY made amends for conceding the penalty.
Sunderland conceded a corner which they struggled to clear and the defender blasted in from 10 yards.
Liverpool had eight minutes to get back on terms but despite plenty of ball they could not threaten the away goal.
When the fourth official held up the board for four additional minutes, it gave hiome fans hope, but Fairweather’s side played out time comfortably.
Liverpool: Stout, Harris (Pacheco 88), Williams, Bonner, Oshoala (Staniforth 72), Ryland, Schroder, Zelem Smorsgard 79), Murray, Rolser, Dowie. Subs not used: Gibbons, Longhurst, Easton, Dale
Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Bannon, Sharp, T Williams, Ramshaw, McFadden, Furness (S Williams 66), Joice (McDougall 78), Chaplen, Mead. Subs: Harkness, Grenwell, Kelly, Bass,
Referee: J Simms