Sunderland Ladies’ Furness hoping for red-hot atmosphere

Rachel Furness.
Rachel Furness.
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SUNDERLAND Ladies hope for another blast of fan power when they face Bristol Academy in the Women’s Super League this evening at Hetton Centre (kick-off 6.30pm).

The Lady Black Cats have already played on home turf in the elite division and while they did not win, they won a lot of admirers.

Sunderland were beaten 1-0 by championship contenders Manchester City in front of a crowd of over 1,400 – a thousand up on last season’s average attendance in their WSL2 title run.

With Sunderland’s men not in action this weekend, Rachel Furness says Carlton Fairweather’s squad hope those supporters – and a few more – return to watch this evening.

“Definitely,” said the midfielder.

“All the feedback I’ve heard from the Man City game is that everyone enjoyed it, maybe apart from the result.

“Young kids, families, fellas and lads who had never watched women’s football before were there and all the vibes I’ve picked up have been positive.

“It was great to have such fabulous support, the girls were knocked out by the amount of people there.

“We hope they were impressed with the quality of football from both teams and they enjoyed the evening.

“It’s another 6.30 game, it’s a good kick-off time and hopefully the weather will be good today and this evening and people will come along again.

“The Sunderland men’s team are not playing this weekend so hopefully there’s a chance of another good crowd.

“But what I’d say to people is that you don’t have to support Sunderland, just come along and give women’s football a try.”

Furness will be one of the key players for the Lady Black Cats as they look to secure their second win and the first in front of their fans.

The 26-year-old is the heartbeat of the side, providing the perfect link between the defence and Sunderland’s most advanced players, in-form striker Beth Mead and close-season signing Brooke Chaplen.

Furness has yet to find the target in WSL1 and after scoring some great goals in WSL2 is hoping to break her duck.

“Everyone loves to score,” said the Northern Irish international from Washington. “I’m no different.

“But, at the end of the day, I don’t care who scores as long as we are hitting the back of the net.

“Hopefully, if an opportunity comes along I’ll put it away, but it’s the team that matters.”