SUNDERLAND LADIES have added a goalscorer to their squad ahead of their Women’s Super League 1 programme.
Unfortunately, Suzanne Mulvey could not mark her full debut by finding the net at Hibernian yesterday.
The former Scotland international had already worn the red and white stripes twice during an impressive trial stay on Wearside, bagging a hat-trick against Rangers at Consett and then scoring in last week’s friendly win at Everton.
Watched by the Scottish boss yesterday at Broxburn, Mulvey was unable to convert any of her three chances but head coach Carlton Fairweather is delighted with his second signing, following hot on the heels of the arrival of Tori Williams from Doncaster Rovers.
“Suzanne is a great addition to our squad,” he told the Echo.
“She is very good as an out-and-out centre-forward and can also play wide on the right.
“Suzanne’s got the ability to help get us in behind teams and she has a lot of experience.
“She’s been involved in the Scotland team and hopefully she can get back in there.”
Mulvey, who has the number 19 squad number, started out wide on the artificial grass at Albyn Park.
The 30-year-old was down the right with Sophie Williams down the left as they provided the support to the central Natalie Gutteridge, in for Beth Mead who is in the rather warmer climes of La Manga with England U23.
It was Sophie Williams who warmed the hands of Hannah Reid with a fierce left-foot shot in the 10th minute but the Hibs keeper showed good glovework.
Other than that, the Lady Black Cats did not make Reid work for her money, Emma Kelly and Gutteridge both following some neat footwork with wayward shots.
Gutteridge was a gnat’s eylash away from connecting with a diving header from a peach of a Sophie Williams left-wing cross, but otherwise there was little encouragement in the attacking third.
Credit though must go to Hibs, whose young side was teaming with energy, with or without the ball, and their tenacity ensured the Cats never got a moment’s peace.
Hibs forced six corners but Sunderland defended well enough and Rachael Laws was not unduly stretched.
After the break, the Lady Black Cats looked much better, using the ball more effectively and forcing Hibs back.
Fairweather brought on Keira Ramshaw into midfield and moved Tori Williams to left back following a knock to Vicki Greenwell in the first half.
The head coach switched Mulvey through the middle and she had an immediate opportunity but could not get any power on her shot with sub keeper Jenna Fife getting down well.
Smart play by Ramshaw put Mulvey in on 55 minutes but the forward scuffed her shot.
Sarah McFadden tested Fife from a Sophie Williams corner, the keeper saving well to her left.
Sophie then found the head of namesake Tori Williams from the next corner on the opposite flank but the new signing failed to make a clean connection.
But Hibs, whose average age was just over 18, still remained dangerous, with the livewire Lizzie Arnot flashing a shot wide of Laws’ left-hand post while she fired over after being given a sight of goal.
Arnot then combined cleverly with Katey Turner whose shot was held comfortably by Laws.
Fairweather sent on subs Gemma Wilson and Rebekah Bass and both saw plenty of ball down the flanks as Sunderland finished the match in charge.
But despite enjoying a lot of possession, the Lady Black Cats could not translate pressure into chances.
Mulvey had a last effort in the 89th minute after Gutteridge threaded through the ball but the shot was straight at Fife.
“We kept the ball better in the second half, but we didn’t cause their keeper any major problems,” said Fairweather.
“We expected Hibs to be a hard-working and well-organised side and they were.
“It was a test for us and it was a good indicator of where we are at the moment.”
Hibernian: Reid (Fife 46), Williamson, Murray, Brownlie (Lynch 82), Smith, Graham, Cornet, Richards (Turner 60), Arnot, Harrison (Tweedie 85), Arthur (McMahon 78)
Sunderland: Laws, Holmes (Wilson 66), Bannon, Sharp, Greenwell (46), T Williams, McFadden, Kelly, Mulvey, Gutteridge, S Williams (Bass 66).
Booked: S Williams 40, Wilson 87