Bannon double seals derby triumph

Steph Bannon celebrates her second goal against Newcastle.
Steph Bannon celebrates her second goal against Newcastle.
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Sunderland Women 3

Newcastle Utd Ladies 1

SUNDERLAND sealed the derby honours with two quick-fire goals from captain Steph Bannon setting them on the way to a League Cup group stage victory over Newcastle.

Sophie Williams added a fine third goal before the Lady Black Cats took their foot off the pedal.

Even so, they should have won by a greater margin, and conceded a sloppy second half goal as the visitors fought bravely to the end.

Kelly McDougall had Sunderland’s first chance of the game with a free-kick on the edge of the area, but fired straight at Newcastle keeper Laura Wareham.

Newcastle’s first effort came from the Elizabeth Frazer with a long-range shot that almost caught keeper Rachael Laws off guard, but she acrobatically tipped the ball over.

The game began to become feisty, with hard but fair challenges from Bannon and Newcastle’s Frazer.

The first goal came after 14 minutes from Sunderland’s first corner. The ball was floated to the back post where Rachel Furness powered a header against the bar, but from a yard out captain Bannon forced the ball home.

The home team had their tails up, and soon after Keira Ramshaw found space, but fired wide.

Newcastle almost levelled when Laws spilled the ball on the line only for Natalie Gutteridge to clear, with the visitors claiming the ball had crosses the goalline.

Gutteridge’s clearance landed to striker Beth Mead, who capitalised on a slip from Jess Havelock and raced through on goal. However, last season’s top scorer took too long and the chance went begging.

Sunderland doubled the lead from another corner. Sophie Williams’ cross had keeper Laura Wareham in trouble and Bannon was there again at the far post to fire home.

Three minutes later it was 3-0 with the goal of the game. Kelly McDougall pierced the visitors’ defence, putting through William, who lifter the ball clevely over the keeper and into the net.

It should have been 4-0 soon after when Sunderland won a penalty. Williams caused havoc in the visitors’ defence and saw her cross blocked by the arm of Michaela Sewell.

Kelly McDougall stepped up to take the spot-kick but dragged the ball wide of the laft-hand post.

Newcastle started the second half well and pulled a goal back against the run of play.

A good ball over the top by Frazer found the tricky Jess Foster, who put the ball to the far post to an unmarked Collinson, who bravely forced the ball home.

Sunderland still powered forward with Furness in particular a driving force from midfield, trying several long-range efforts and one bullet header just over the bar.

Keira Ramshaw and Kelly McDougall both rattled the crossbar from just inside the box, as Sunderland searched for an elusive fourth goal.

It did not come, though, leaving Sunderland slightly frustrated at not having played their best or made the most of their chances.

Bannon said: “Overall it was a good win, and obviously I’m delighted to get on the scoresheet twice.

“I didn’t think the performance was good enough today, though. We’ll need to get on the training ground and get that sorted.”

With Sunderland still unbeaten in all competitions this season, manager Mick Mulhern was content with the result.

“It was a typical derby game, and it was played in the right spirit,” he said. “Newcastle made us work hard, though I feel we could have killed the game off considering we missed a penalty and hit the woodwork so many times.

“Getting the win was the most important thing today, and the unbeaten run continues which is obviously pleasing.”

Sunderland: Laws, Sutcliffe, Bannon, Salicki, Greenwell, Ramshaw, McDougall, Furness, Williams (Caldwell), Gutteridge (Chidester), Mead (Atkinson).