Women's football: Sunderland hammer Doncaster as Durham in shock Liverpool draw
Sunderland Ladies continued their fine form of late with a thumping 5-0 win over Doncaster Rovers Belles.
A late own goal added some gloss after strikes from Keira Ramshaw, Jordan Atkinson, Georgia Gibson and Emily Hutchinson saw Sunderland extend their unbeaten run to five games.
Mel Reay was able to welcome Atkinson back into her side after she missed the midweek win over Middlesbrough, and the winger was straight into the action as she teed up Ramshaw - the skipper’s shot well-saved by Emily Batty.
Gibson and Bridget Galloway were also denied by the inspired Batty as the Lady Black Cats laid siege on the Belles’ goal.
And their persistence eventually paid off on 28 minutes as Ramshaw’s fine strike from distance left Batty with no chance.
The lead was doubled just four minutes, with Atkinson reacting quickest to turn the ball home after Galloway had struck the bar.
Sunderland didn’t have to wait long for a third either, with Gibson smashing home from 18 yards before Hutchinson then slotted home a fourth to top-off a goal-laden 13 minute spell.
It was much of the same in the second half, with the Black Cats applying most of the pressure in a dominant performance.
They would only find one more goal to show for their efforts though, with Gibson’s corner put into her own net by a Belles defender.
Late chances fell to substitute Anna Young and Galloway, but five was more than enough for Reay’s side as they continued their rich vein of form.
Durham Women, meanwhile, played out an entertaining 3-3 draw with top tier side Liverpool.
Sophie Bradley-Auckland handed the Reds an early lead before a brace from Emily Roberts saw the Wildcats take control.
Abi Cottam then extended Durham’s lead before late strikes from Rinsola Babajide and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk ensured the spoils were shared.
Liverpool - who appointed ex-goalkeeper Chris Kirkland as caretaker manager late last week - then went on to claim a bonus point courtesy of a 5-4 penalty shootout victory.