Victoria on a high with stunning goal – and opening day victory

Sunderland Ladies (stripes) take on Durham Women last night. Picture by David Allan

Sunderland Ladies (stripes) take on Durham Women last night. Picture by David Allan

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SUNDERLAND scorer Victoria Greenwell hopes the Black Cats can build on derby day success over Durham after finally making their Women’s Super League bow.

Mick Mulhern’s side began their WSL Division Two campaign in emphatic fashion last night with a 4-2 victory at local rivals Durham.

It has been a long wait for Sunderland to appear in the WSL after being snubbed from the initial draft of the competition in 2011 and then waiting eight months since the now defunct Premier Division came to an end.

But it was an ideal debut for the Wearsiders as they secured a thoroughly deserved victory, with left-back Greenwell eager to consolidate the pre-season promotion favourites’ start to the campaign in Sunday’s visit of Reading to Eppleton.

Greenwell told the Echo: “Going to sleep on Wednesday night was a bit surreal, thinking it’s finally here.

“But it was absolutely fantastic to get started. Everyone was up for it and knew how big a game it was, the first WSL Two game of the season.

“We’ve worked so hard for eight or nine months behind the scenes, so it was fantastic to get the result.

“Every game now we’ve got to prepare properly and respect teams.

“We need to get points on the board.”

Greenwell scored Sunderland’s second goal in first-half stoppage time with a free-kick on the edge of the area, which put the Black Cats in a commanding position.

“I will dream about that free-kick!” she said.

“I don’t get to score many goals, so that one was really special, especially with my parents there.

“To get the four goals was fantastic and hopefully we can push on now.”

While head coach Clare Robinson believes Sunderland can still iron out a few glitches, she was impressed with the side’s performance, considering it was the opening day.

Sunderland’s response to Durham’s first goal, early in the second half, was particularly pleasing after the visitors restored their two-goal advantage by making it 3-1 within five minutes.

“Durham asked a few questions, but we kept possession well, dominated a lot of the game and came away with three points,” said Robinson.

“We have to be pleased with that.

“We’ve still got to remember we’re just coming off pre-season.

“Durham made their point and asked a couple of questions, but we’ll build on that and now consider Sunday.

“They got some confidence from their first goal. But they asked a question and the girls responded really well.”