Hotshot Brooke Chaplen says Sunderland Ladies can take good form into clash with Birminham City
Sunderland Ladies hope to take their new-found form on their travels - even though they will encounter one of football's most meanest defences.
The word miserly scarcely does Birminham City justice, the fourth-placed Blues have conceded only FIVE goals in nine Women’s Super League matches.
But the Lady Black Cats will not be daunted by Sunday’s match at the Solihul Motors ground says joint leading scorer Brooke Chaplen.
Sunderland claimed their first league win of the season last weekend when they blitzed Doncaster in the bottom of the table clash 4-0 at Hetton.
“Birmingham have done very well,” said Chaplen.
“They have surprised people and had some great results against teams you would not have expected them to.
“Aside from Man City they have conceded the fewest goals so they are going to be hard to break down.
“They play five at the back, so it’s hard to get through them or behind them.
“But we’ve shown in the last couple of games that when we are confident on the ball that we can create opportunities.
“We were also good in defence, it was great for the girls to keep a clean sheet on Saturday.
“It’s important we defend well and stay in games for longer after being out of matches by half-time before.”
Birmingham are the masters of the tight game - they have lost only twice - but they have only scored five times themselves.
So if Sunderland stay disciplined and can create an opening or two for Chaplen or Beth Mead, they have achance.
Carlton Fairweather’s side looked potent in the win over Doncaster.
The margin could, and probably should, have have been wider, especially given Rovers played the final hour with 10 players.
“Points-wise we needed it,” said the 27-year-old. “But more importantly it was massive confidence-wise with the games we have coming up.
“Having Leandra Little sent off was good for us - she’s their skipper and a very big part of their back four.
“Nevertheless we created chances and were three up by half-time, the girls played well.”
Chaplen was not happy with her own display even though she put the seal on the win with a sumptuous finish.
“But my performance was not as good as I’d like, so the goal was a bit tainted in that respect,” said the six-goal star.
“At that stage, Donny were kind of down and out.
“It was nice to score and keep tally with Beth which I keep reminding her about!
“But the most important thing is that we stay in the league.”