Robinson hails Sunderland Ladies’ comeback surge

Keira Ramshaw makes sure of Sunderland Ladies' win at Watford with their fourth goal. Picture by Susan Gutteridge
Keira Ramshaw makes sure of Sunderland Ladies' win at Watford with their fourth goal. Picture by Susan Gutteridge
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SUNDERLAND Ladies’ head coach Claire Robinson insists her side showed just why they are riding high in FA Women’s Super League Two after they produced a fantastic comeback to win 4-2 at Watford yesterday.

The Wearsiders’ 100 per cent record looked to be coming to a crashing end as they trailed 2-0 at the break, but three goals in five minutes either side of the hour mark helped make it five wins out of five for Sunderland.

Robinson said: “We knew it wasn’t good enough in the first half and the girls got themselves together, showed their character and showed why we’re top of the league.

“There were silly mistakes in the first half and we went back to basics.

“In the second half, the players were much more positive and got at them a lot more and showed a lot more togetherness because we were too individual in the first half.

“We started to play together and secured ourselves at the back and once we got level we weren’t happy to come away with a point, we wanted three and to get a fourth goal as well was excellent.”

The visitors were out of sorts in the first half as they fell 2-0 behind but were absolutely devastating after the break as three goals in five minutes turned the match on its head.

Watford were rewarded for a bright start when Kate Natkiel controlled Sarah Wiltshire’s cross before firing a brilliant shot into the top corner.

And the home team doubled their lead five minutes before half-time when Stephanie Bannon handled Jo Wilson’s cross in the area and Wiltshire slotted her penalty into the bottom corner.

But two goals in a minute brought Sunderland level as Beth Mead halved the deficit with her first penalty before Rachel Furness bent in a fantastic shot from outside the box that left Lauren Davey standing.

The comeback was complete after the visitors earned a second spot kick when Chloe Gunn pulled back Mead, who again was deadly from 12 yards.

The result was then made safe with a fourth Sunderland stroike 11 minutes left when Victoria Greenwell’s corner was allowed to run across the face of goal and was bundled in by Keira Ramshaw.

Watford manager John Salomon said: “We didn’t show the level of performance in the second half that we did in the first half, where I thought we were outstanding.

“We knew Sunderland would come at us in the second half because it happened when we played them here last season but unfortunately we just didn’t deal with that.

“Their second goal was an absolutely brilliant strike but giving away two penalties was really disappointing.”

* The FA Women’s Super League has been newly expanded to two leagues for 2014. To watch all 18 clubs live in action buy tickets here: http://www.ticketstores.co.uk/fawsl