Sunderland Ladies’ Mead nets celebration joy with fine finish

Beth Mead.
Beth Mead.
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WHAT a day for Beth Mead – a 25-second goal on her 20th birthday.

But the biggest thing Sunderland’s leading scorer was celebrating was the fact she scored with her left foot!

Mead got on the end of a Rachael Furness header, not an uncommon occurance, at the very start of Saturday’s WSL1 clash against Birmingham City and saw off central defenders Aoife Mannion and Kerys Harrop before firing her lethal left-footer past Stephanie Baggaley.

“It was my left foot,” she laughed.

“It fell nicely for me and the keeper was on the wrong side and I put it across her and, luckily, it went in.

“But it was just nice to get off to a good start and come away with the three points.”

Mead should not make light of her left foot – she has scored more times with that particular peg than she has with her supposedly stronger right!

In fact, the England Under 23 striker is up to four goals at the mid-season break, one with her head, two with the left and one with her right.

“It’s quite nice, four goals,” she said. “I was aiming for around 10 for the season and just short of halfway I’m on four.

“It’s great to be scoring.”

But the key stat according to Mead is seven – the gap between Sunderland in fourth and basement club Bristol Academy.

WSL1 is a great competition, growing in popularity all the time, but it’s a something of an exclusive organisation with just eight clubs involved.

Only one side goes down and the fact Sunderland are more than two wins clear of Bristol bodes well.

“I think we have sneaked clear of a couple of teams,” she said.

“Obviously, our win meant we increased our gap over Bimingham and Bristol at the bottom.

“I think we’ve realised we can compete in WSL1.

“We’ll look to try to get as high as we can in the league.

“I think some people had us down as relegation candidates with Bristol, but we’re showing what we’re about.

“I’m not going to say we’ll be Champions League but we’ll try to finish as high as we can.

“Nine points so far is great, we’re in a really good place, we just want to keep going as we are.”