SUNDERLAND Women were made to work hard for yesterday’s Women’s FA Cup fourth round success at Midlands outfit Sporting Club Albion.
First-half strikes from Beth Mead and Sophie Williams did the damage before Robyn James pulled one back with the last kick of the game.
Mick Mulhern’s side were ahead in just four minutes. Rachel Furness intercepted the ball in midfield and drove at the defence before feeding Beth Mead, who calmly slotted into the bottom corner.
Mead was only denied a second by a great 15th-minute tackle, before good link-up play between Vicky Greenwell and Kelly McDougall resulted in Furness swinging the ball over for Williams, who volleyed against the bar.
Williams, though, doubled the lead on 20 minutes when her right-wing corner eluded everyone and crept in at the far post.
In the second half, McDougall fired narrowly over, then Keira Ramshaw just failed to connect with a McDougall cross and Mead’s long-ranger forced a fine save from Thomas.
The Halesowen hosts responded right on time, with James stabbing home a bobbling cross from close in.
SUNDERLAND: Alderson, Christon (Wilson), Bannon, Salicki, Greenwell, Sutcliffe, McDougall, Furness, Williams, Ramshaw, Mead (Atkinson). Sub: Dodds