Keira Ramshaw the hero as Sunderland Ladies return to top of FA Women's National League
Sunderland Ladies returned to the top of the FA Women's National League after a 4-2 win at newly-promoted Hull City.
The triumph was largely thanks to a virtuoso performance from skipper Keira Ramshaw, who scored one and provided two more as her side returned to winning ways.
Victory was the perfect tonic for the Lady Black Cats after they suffered only a second defeat of the season at Derby County last weekend.
But Mel Reay must have been worried that her side would suffer a similar fate when the Tigers took the lead after just four minutes - Hope Knight seeing a shot deflect past stopper Sophy Stonehouse.
And indeed were it not for Stonehouse the lead could have been doubled, but the Sunderland ‘keeper made a fine save to tip Amy Blinkhorn’s free-kick onto the crossbar.
The significance of that save was felt moments later when Sunderland levelled thanks to Bridget Galloway, who slotted home from close range after a cut-back from Emily Hutchinson.
Anna Young then struck the post for the visitors before Hutchinson saw an effort hacked off the line as the interval approached.
But Sunderland would find a second goal after the interval and it came via some individual brilliance from Ramshaw, who twisted and turned in the area before firing into the top corner.
The lively Knight then struck the post before more fine play from Ramshaw handed the Black Cats a two-goal cushion.
Her cross was perfect for Hutchinson, who guided a header off the underside of the crossbar and in.
Knight did then reduce the deficit - tapping home from close range after a long-range effort struck the bar - but there was to be no comeback mounted.
Instead, it was Sunderland who claimed the three points as Ramshaw played a perfectly-weighted through ball to substitute Georgia Gibson, who slotted past Amy Halloran.
The victory sees Sunderland return to the FA WNL summit as they sit three points ahead of Blackburn Rovers, who have played three games less.
Reay’s side are next in action next Sunday as they travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA WNL League Cup.