SUNDERLAND Ladies delighted head coach Claire Robinson on their return to action after the lengthy international break.
Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Yeovil Town at Eppleton CW made it six wins out of six for the Wearsiders in the FA Women’s Super League 2 – and they now top the table on their own, with Doncaster Rovers Belles losing their 100 per cent record with a 0-0 draw at Millwall yesterday.
Goals from Abby Holmes and Keira Ramshaw did the damage, with the former winning particular praise from Robinson.
Robinson said: “We had started building momentum and then the break came. First game back, for the league, it was important to get the result.
“I think Abby had a great game. That’s the type of player she is.
“She likes to get forward but there are other elements too – she gives us a tenacity.
“She’s done really well and to get the goal at the end of it with her left foot, she’ll certainly take that.”
Holmes broke the deadlock just seven minutes in, charging forward from right-back to cut inside and unleash a powerful left-footed strike into the bottom corner.
Beth Mead went close on the half-hour after exchanging passes with Rachel Furness, but Rachel Simkin was out quick to save.
On the stroke of half-time, Yeovil’s Katie Cook raced onto Jade Lorton-Radburn’s lobbed pass, but Holmes put enough pressure on to ensure her weak shot was comfortably saved.
Kelly McDougall shot wide from distance early in the second half, then Rebekah Bass went close to doubling the lead on the hour, Simkin tipping her rising 18-yard effort onto the underside of the bar.
The hosts’ pressure finally paid off on 75 minutes, Ramshaw turning in from close range when Simkin failed to gather a corner.
Yeovil substitute Emma Brazell was then dismissed for a second bookable offence on 86 minutes as Sunderland went top of the pile.
Yeovil manager Sarah Lawler conceded her side were not clinical enough in front of goa.
“The timing of both goals wasn’t great,” she said. “Our own players will hold their hands up and say we had opportunities and we didn’t take them. Just as we were coming back into the game they’ve got the second, so that’s disappointing.”
SUNDERLAND: Laws; Holmes, Sharp, Wilson, Greenwell; Kelly (Briggs 78), McDougall, Furness; Bass, Mead (McHugh 83), Ramshaw. Subs not used: Alderson, Beer.
YEOVIL: Simkin; Bleazard, Edwards, Haigh, Kirby; Stewart, Lorton-Raburn, Pearson (Bray 72), Curson, Tewkesbury (Brazell 72); Cook. Subs not used: Sherwood, Whitton, Cossens.
Att: 401. Ref: S Sugden
H The FA Women’s Super League has been newly expanded to two leagues. To watch all 18 clubs live in action buy tickets here: http://www.ticketstores.co.uk/fawsl