Sunderland star admits stunning strike was ‘fluke’ as side edge win

Lucy Staniforth
Lucy Staniforth
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Sunderland Ladies bounced back to winning ways thanks to a stunning piece of good fortune – and skill – from Lucy Staniforth.

Melanie Reay’s side edged to a 2-1 win over Yeovil Town Ladies to condemn the home side to a seventh straight defeat in the Women’s Super League Spring Series.

The Lady Black Cats had taken the lead in the third minute when Staniforth curled the ball into the goal directly from a corner.

And after Angaharad James drew Yeovil level in the 76th minute, Sunderland went straight up the other end to win the game through Beverly Leon.

It was Staniforth’s goal that everyone was talking about after the game, however, with the player herself admitting it was a ‘fluke’.

“It’s not the first goal that I’ve scored in my career from a corner, but I just wanted to put the ball in the box,” she said.

“I happened to catch it so it’s curled in a little bit – I don’t know you would describe it really I suppose that you could call it a bit of a fluke, but I’m definitely claiming it.

“It was unbelievable character from us to get back into it after Yeovil scored their equaliser, and it was even better from the substitute Bev coming on and proving a point and finishing her chance really well.

“It was an example of great character, it’s just a shame that it’s taken us to go a goal behind to come back strong.”

After Staniforth’s opener, Republic of Ireland forward Stephanie Roche was twice denied by Yeovil keeper Megan Walsh.

Yeovil’s equaliser came after Quinn was upended by Sunderland skipper Stephanie Bannon. Quinn’s penalty was saved by Hilde Gunn Olsen – but James was on hand to turn home the rebound.

Leon had the last word, however, with a hook shot to win the game for Sunderland and erase memories of their 7-0 thumping from Chelsea last time out.