Sunderland Ladies 0 Arsenal Ladies 0: Match report, Black Cats hold Gunners to draw

Doninique Bruinenberg puts the pressure on Arsenal in the WSL1 match. PIcture by KEVIN BRADY
Doninique Bruinenberg puts the pressure on Arsenal in the WSL1 match. PIcture by KEVIN BRADY
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Sunderland Ladies clinched a deserved point from their first WSL1 Spring Series home game when they drew with Arsenal.

Winter signing Dominique Bruinenberg was denied twice by fellow Dutch girl, Sari Van Veenendaal in the away goal while Anke Preuss made a superb save late on for Melanie Reay's unbeaten side.

Arsenal had the better of the opening stages at Eppleton CW, but Sunderland kept a good shape and were not unduly troubled at the back.

Preuss saved a close-range shot from Jodie Taylor but the two best chances of the half would fall to the home side and Bruinenberg

The former Verona midfielder arrived in the area to meet Hayley Sharp's cross from the right perfectly only for Sari Van Veenendaal to pull off a stunning save from the header.

And the Dutch girl had an opportunity following the resulting corner, firing her right-foot shot wide.

England midfielder Jordan Nobbs was looking to exert her influence for Arsenal, but Sunderland handled the Gunners without any real scares.

The Lady Black Cats started the second half with real zest and Bruinenberg was again thwarted by her compatriot Van Veenedaal who tipped over her excellent shot from the edge opf the box.

And the home side had a great chance in the 52nd minute when Beverly Leon played in Maddy Hill but her shot was a tame one and easily saved by the Dutch keeper.

Dan Carter had a chance in the 63rd minute when Dan Van De Donk's cross from the left made it all the way through the area but the England international could not make a clean contact when only six yards

out.

Twenty minutes from time, Lucy Staniforth tried her luck from 30 yards but her free-kick sailed out of the ground, while at the other end, Fara Williams was similarly off target.

Arsenal sub Katie McCabe has good chance in the 76th minute but shot weakly at Preuss.

The German stopper was in excellent form late on, making a brilliant save low to her right from McCabe.

Sunderland: Preuss, Holmes, Sharp, Bannon, Williams, Hill, Staniforth, Bruinenberg, Roche (Lambert 72), Joice, Leon (Ramshaw 65)

Unused Subs: Watt, Stonehouse

Booked: Holmes 31

Arsenal: Van Veenendaal, Scott (McCabe 60), Patton, Wubben-Moy, Jansson, O'Reilly, Nobbs, Williams, Carter, Van De Donk (Quinn 83), Taylor (Kelly 60)

Unused Subs: Moorhouse, Humphrey, Mead

Referee: Rebecca Welch

Attendance: 577