Women’s football: Sunderland come from behind to extend lead

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Sunderland Ladies 4 Watford Ladies 2

SUNDERLAND came from behind to extend their lead at the top of the National Premier League yesterday.

The visitors began brightly with Sarah Wiltshire and Megan Wynne putting pressure on the home defence.

Gemma Wilson was an early casualty for the hosts, lasting just five minutes before bowing out with a hamstring injury.

Natalie Gutteridge headed just over following a dangerous cross by Keira Ramshaw before Watford took the lead on eight minutes, Lillie Billson firing home from an acute angle.

Sophie Williams and Demi Stokes went close to an equaliser before the goal came on 12 minutes. Jordan Nobbs fed Ramshaw for a shot that was parried into Stokes’ path and she confidently buried the rebound.

Parity lasted only two minutes as the visitors regained the lead following sloppy defensive play. Charlotte Young cleverly turned on the edge of the box and wrong footed everyone as her shot found the far corner.

Gutteridge, Stokes and Ramshaw went close before a Williams thunderbolt crashed against the post.

Sunderland drew level after 54 minutes when Sarah McFadden and Nobbs linked well through the middle to allow Williams to go clear and confidently slot the ball past a despairing Crook.

And they led for the first time three minutes later when Abby Holmes ran forward unchallenged and released Williams to the byline. Her cross found Nobbs in the box to round Crook and slot home.

Nobbs fired just over before Watford had a quick break, Wynne forcing Helen Alderson to save.

Sunderland made the game safe after 75 minutes when McFadden brought the ball forward to split the defence with a pass to Ramshaw, she squared the ball for Nobbs to strike home a sweet volley from 18 yards. The home now threatened to run riot as McFadden, Williams and Gutteridge went close.

Sunderland: Alderson, Holmes(Christon), Bannon, Wilson(Salicki), Greenwell, Ramshaw, Nobbs, McFadden(Potts), Williams, Gutteridge. Subs not used: Laws, Halliday,