Kelly earns point for Sunderland against Notts County

Emma Kelly
Emma Kelly
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Emma Kelly was pleased to seal a point with an equaliser against Notts County at Hetton on Saturday evening, but the Sunderland midfielder admits sharpening up in front of goal will be high on the agenda for the whole team next season.

Kelly rose highest to head in a first-half leveller just six minutes after Notts County’s Rachel Williams had got the opening goal of the game for the visitors.

Throughout the 90 minutes I thought it was pretty even, it was end to end.

That would be the way the score would stay come the full-time whistle as the Lady Black Cats moved up one place in the FA Women’s Super League 1 table to seventh to sit just behind their opponents.

And while conceding the scoreline was a fair result, Kelly was already eyeing up ways to improve next campaign with just one fixture, at home to Birmingham City next Sunday, left this season.

“Throughout the 90 minutes I thought it was pretty even, it was end to end. A point was pretty fair,” she said.

“We all know we need to be more clinical in the final third, we have not scored many goals this season but that is something we need to work on and obviously that is what we are going to look into next season.

“We created enough but we just need to be more clinical, just finishing that counts.

“I’ve not played much this season so it is nice to come on and get on the scoresheet and have an impact on the game.

“We are sort of happy with a point but we would have been happier with the three points.”

Both teams started brightly but it took until the 33rd minute for the deadlock to be broken, Notts County’s Williams picking up on a loose ball in the area to lash a low drive into the bottom corner.

It was a goal the visitors richly deserved, but their advantage lasted all of six minutes as Kelly levelled things up, rising highest to meet an Abbey Joice cross from the left.

Jess Clarke rolled a shot against the post for Notts County in the second-half and team-mates Elizebeta Ejupi and Aileen Whelan both went close, with Black Cats keeper Hilde Gunn Olsen making several fine saves.

Recent signing Beverly Leon went close for Sunderland but had her shot blocked by the County keeper.

Sunderland substitute Bridget Galloway nearly stole the win late on but her 25-yard chip went just wide.

Sunderland Ladies: Olsen, Watt, Bannon, Sharp, Holmes, Kelly (Ramshaw 85), McDougall, Hill, Leon, Joice (Brown 90), Mead (Galloway 80). Subs not used: Laws, Warren. Bookings: Mead 75, Galloway 90

Notts County Ladies: Walsh, Buet, Potter, Bassett, Luik, Whelan, Moore, Crichton, James, Williams (Ejupi 71), Clarke. Subs not used: Cushin, Oliver, Hassall.

Att: 551 Ref: Martin Coy