SUNDERLAND Ladies recorded an emphatic 5-0 win over Aberdeen in their latest pre-season game.
The Scots had no answer to the Lady Black Cats’ attacking strength with Beth Mead grabbing a hat-trick and Bekki Bass netting twice.
Sunderland showed their intentions from the off as Megan Beer combined well with Mead to set up Rachel Furness, whose shot was saved by visiting keeper Lauren Sangster.
Abbey Joice made ground down the right and crossed for Keira Ramshaw to volley goalwards but the effort was blocked.
A Vicki Greenwell corner was headed narrowly wide by Ramshaw before Mead had a shot turned away by Sangster.
The Wearsiders got the breakthrough their play deserved in the 17th minute. As the ball came through the middle, it was skipper Steph Bannon who found herself in an advanced position to square it into the path of Mead, who hit a firm shot into the bottom corner.
Aberdeen had a quick break and got behind the home defence but keeper Rachael Laws was out quickly to clear the danger.
Bass and Mead linked to set up Furness and her effort was well saved by Sangster.
A Kelly McDougall free-kick caused panic in the visiting defence before the ball was scrambled away.
Aberdeen had their best chance of the game as Nikki Wright ghosted in behind the defence on the right to hit a fine shot which Laws did well to push away and the keeper was alert to throw herself forward and block the rebound to save a certain goal.
The Lady Black Cats increased their lead in the 35th minute when Bannon and Joice played the ball through for Mead to turn it into the path of Bass, who calmly lifted it over the keeper and into the top corner.
Mead then saw her shot turned around the post and from the resulting corner Sunderland scored their third in the 39th minute. As the ball was delivered it was only partially cleared and fell kindly for Mead, who hit a firm shot into the bottom corner.
Both teams made a raft of substitutions at the break but it was still the home side which pressed forward at every opportunity and it wasn’t long before Sunderland extended their lead. There seemed little danger in the 52nd minute as Mead pressurised the Aberdeen defence and she was alert enough to cash in on a mix-up as the ball fell short and she walked it into an unguarded net to complete her hat-trick.
In a rare attack, Rebecca Dempster found herself in space but her snap shot was comfortably held by Helen Alderson.
Madelaine Hill saw her header from a corner saved by Sangster before efforts from Mead, Bass and Brogan McHugh were all beaten away.
A McDougall free-kick on the left saw a firm header by Gemma Wilson scrambled clear.
Mead then turned provider in the 85th minute as she crossed into the path of Bass, who cleverly turned her marker to drill the ball home and complete the scoring.
In the closing moments, Aberdeen saw a dangerous free-kick confidently held by Alderson before Sunderland sub Emma Kelley had a fine effort beaten away from close in.
Sunderland: Laws (Alderson), Beer, Bannon, Greenwell (Holmes), Ramshaw (McHugh), Furness (Hill), McDougall, Joice (Kelley), Bass, Mead.