SUNDERLAND Ladies suffered back-to-back Women’s Super League maulings when they went down at Notts County tonight.
The Lady Black Cats, beaten 4-1 at Arsenal on Sunday, took a fifth-minutre lead through leading scorer Beth Mead.
But three goals in nine first-half minutes turned the game County’s way while Sunderland were not helped by an injury to skipper Steph Bannon.
Goals from Dani Buet (21 mins), Ellen White (23), Jess Clarke (29) and Rachel Williams (37) made it a sorry night for Sunderland.
Carlton Fairweather’s side pulled one back 16 minutes from time when Tori Williams scored her first goal since moving to Wearside from Vicky Greenwell’s free-kick.
Sunderland were forced into two changes from the side which lost in North London, Vicky Greenwell coming in for the suspended Abby Holmes and Kelly McDougall replacing the injured Rachel Furness.
It all began so well for the Lady Black Cats.
Notts County failed to deal with a Greenwell ball forward and MEAD broke into the box and lobbed the ball into the keeper’s left corner.
It was a dream start and it was almost two as McDougall went just wide in the eighth minute.
Sunderland continued to press and the keeper saved well from Mead in the 17th minute.
But it all began to go wrong in the 21st minute.
Keira Ramshaw conceded a soft free-kick in a central area 23 yards out. BUET hit it and it took a big deflection off the wall and beat a wrong-footed Rachael Laws.
It was 2-1 within two minutes, County opening up the Black Cats defence for White to slide her shot past Laws.
Sunderland were desperately unlucky in the 26th minute not to level.
Sarah McFadden saw her header from Greenwell’s free-kick superbly saved onto the bar by Telford.
Bannon went for the rebound as Amy Turner cleared off the line only to be injured in the process.
And while Sunderland were down to 10 players, the Lady Pies made it 3-1 in the 29th minute when CLARKE scored with her left foot from the edge of the box.
Carlton Fairweather brought on Gemma Wilson for Bannon but it got worse for Sunderland as Laws was beaten again to her left.
Sophie Walton crossed from the right and WILLIAMS superb header went into Laws’ left-hand corner.
The second half, thankfully, was a quieter affair.
Sunderland had a glorious chance to pull one back in the 58th minute when Mead broke quickly but her shot from the right side of the box went inches wide of Telford’s right-hand post with the keeper beaten.
There was a further sight of goal in the 67th minute when good Abbey Joice footwork and a powerful right-foot shot brought a smart save from Telford who then comfortably caught the resulting corner.
Sunderland did pull a goal back in the 74th minute when WILLIAMS headed in from six yards from Greenwell’s free-kick from wide on the right.
Notts Co: Telford, Walton, Bassett, Greenwood, Turner, Clarke, Buet, Crichton, A Whelan (Susi 70), Williams (O’Sullivan 77), White. Subs: Draycott, Susi, F Whelan, Plumptre, O’Neill
Sunderland Ladies: Laws, T Williams, Sharp, Bannon (Wilson 31), Greenwell, Joice, McFadden (Hill 90), McDougall, Chaplen, Ramshaw, Mead. Subs (not used): Bass, Gutteridge
Referee: Lisa Rashid