Bridget Galloway's hat-trick sinks Redcar in Sunderland pre-season opener
Mel Reay was visibly delighted with Bridget Galloway after the striker’s classy hat-trick propelled Sunderland Ladies to a 5-0 pre-season win away to fifth-tier Redcar Town.
The forward’s trio – alongside strikes from Georgia Gibson and Kiera Ramshaw – fired Reay’s side to a commanding victory.
New signings Charlotte Potts, Claudia Moan, Abi Cottam and Jess Brown all started in Sunderland’s new look 3-5-2 formation.
“We need to have more strings to our bow,” Reay explained. “So we’re introducing new things for the players so that we’re a stronger team throughout the season.”
And it took just five minutes for the Black Cats to open the scoring when Gibson’s right-footed effort easily beat Redcar’s ‘keeper – Ramshaw then doubled Sunderland’s lead with a low shot on 22 minutes.
Galloway opened her account for the afternoon with ten left to play - the powerful attacker coolly heading in Brown’s superb cross.
“She was very good tonight,” Reay said of Brown. “It was her first time playing senior football and she’s produced some good crosses and managed to set up Bridget’s header.”
Three minutes later Galloway struck again - this time with a clinical finish from the right-hand side of the area.
The Lasses took a commanding 4-0 lead into the interval as Brown, Faye Mullen and Meg Beer were replaced by Katie Baker, Emily Hutchinson and Courtney Stewart.
Galloway completed her hat-trick just four minutes after the break with a looping header perplexing the ‘keeper after Hutchinson’s cross.
On Galloway, Reay said: “Feed the goat and she will score - that’s what we say! Bridget has done really well but I’m delighted with all the performances.
“It was a good opener for us, we got everyone on the pitch and scored some goals - it was a good workout.
“It’s always a hard one to gauge in terms of where we are at physically but we dominated all over the pitch - which we should do. It’s a good one to build on,” Sunderland’s manager concluded.