Sunderland Ladies lose out at the death against Birmingham City

Carlton Fairweather
Carlton Fairweather
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Charlie Wellings struck late to snatch all three points for Birmingham City against a battling Sunderland side in FA WSL 1.

Wellings pounced two minutes from the 90 when Mel Lawley’s cross caused panic in the box and Lady Black Cats keeper Rachael Laws parried into her path.

Sunderland were on course to put some breathing space between themselves and the bottom of the table but the loss sees them seventh with six points.

Birmingham started brighter in difficult conditions and should have taken the lead on seven minutes when Chloe Peplow found space on the edge of the, box but fired over.

Mel Lawley showed nimble footwork to cut inside but dragged her effort wide, shortly after Wellings outpaced Stephanie Bannon, but shot directly at Laws.

Just before half-time Lawley’s beautiful turn gave her the freedom to feed Freda Ayisi, but a last-ditch Victoria Williams tackle blocked her fizzing drive.

After the break the Blues continued to press and Lawley was again at the centre of the action when her half-volley was bravely blocked by Brooke Chaplen.

The Blues seemed to run out of steam, but Wellings snatched the points in the 88th minute when she turned in from close range after Laws parried into her path.

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Birmingham City (4-4-2): Ann-Katrin Berger, Alex Windell, Jess Carter, Kerys Harrop, Fredya Ayisi, Andrine Hegerberg, Abbeyleigh Stringer, Mel Lawley, Charlie Wellings, Chloe Peplow, Aoife Mannion

Substitutes: Isabelle Linden for Chloe Peplow 45, Marisa Ewers for Fredya Ayisi 90. Not used: Connie Schofield, Sian Johnson, Sophie Baggaley, Kirsty Linnett

Sunderland (4-5-1): Rachael Laws, Abby Holmes, Danielle Brown, Stephanie Bannon, Victoria Williams, Hayley Sharp, Brooke Chaplen, Rachel Furness, Lucy Staniforth, Madelaine Hill, Beth Mead

Substitutes: Megan Beer for Abby Holmes 82, Charlotte Potts for Rachel Furness 72, Kelly McDougal, Keira Ramshaw for Lucy Staniforth 77. Not used: Hilde Gunn Olsen, Stephanie Roche, Emma Kelly

Referee: Neil Pratt

Attendance: 1014