Boss Carlton banks on Sunderland Ladies’ great show of character

Beth Mead gets in a header for Sunderland Ladies. Picture by Joe Spence
Beth Mead gets in a header for Sunderland Ladies. Picture by Joe Spence
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CARLTON Fairweather hailed the character of his team after seeing Sunderland Ladies come from behind to beat Bristol Academy 2-1 on Saturday.

After all the promise of the performance against Manchester City a fortnight ago, the Lady Black Cats were stunned when the basement outfit took a 10th-minute lead at Eppleton CW.

However, second-half goals from key close-season signing Brooke Chaplen and Rachel Furness turned things around.

“It was more gritty,” Fairweather told the Echo.

“Bristol are a different type of team and we needed a different type of performance.

“We got that performance and we got that result as well.

“It showed character, determination and desire to get back into the game and win it.”

Fairweather was happy, too, for his match-winner, especially after Furness’s gaffe had led to Bristol’s first goal in WSL1.

The head coach made a timely substitution by bringing on left-back Vicky Greenwell instead of a forward, her 72nd-minute free-kick being decisively being headed home by the Northern Ireland midfielder.

“Furney works really well,” said Fairweather, who takes his side to Arsenal this coming Sunday.

“She was a bit frustrated that she gave the ball away that helped them score.

“But the fact she has shown grit and determination to get the goal to get us in front was fantastic.”

It was a crucial assist from Greenwell, who has found herself out of the side following the close-season arrival of Tori Williams.

And Fairweather says her contribution is a great example to those currently not in the starting XI. “Everyone is going to be involved at some stage,” he said.

“It’s important for them to make sure they are ready when the time comes to come out and play well.”