Sunderland Ladies’ disappointing run in the Women’s Super League 1 continued yesterday as clinical visitors Reading secured a 2-0 victory at Mariners Park.
Fara Williams set the visitors on their way in the 39th minute, with Rachel Furness doubling her side’s advantage – against her former club – in quickfire fashion just two minutes later.
Williams was afforded far too much space and time as she sauntered through the home defence before slotting past an exposed Rachael Laws in the Sunderland goal.
If the first goal was owed to defensive generosity, then Reading’s second was quality of the highest order as Furness unleashed an unstoppable long-range effort which flew into the top corner before tempering her celebrations against her old team.
Reading were reduced to 10 players in the 75th minute as Mary Earps was given a straight red card for handling the ball outside her area, but the visitors held on to move up to third place.
Sunderland defender Hayley Sharp said: “We are disappointed and frustrated. We just lacked a bit of concentration.
“We played well and had the opportunities but we just didn’t hit the back of the net.
“There was that lack of concentration for the two minutes before half-time when they scored, so it is frustrating.
“We had opportunities and chances and that is what we have got to take out of the game.
“We created things, we were in and around the box but it is about getting them in the back of the net.”
Reading scorer Furness said: “I don’t think it was one of best games in front of goal, but we did take two chances and had a clean sheet, which we are pleased about.
“I didn’t celebrate my goal because I was at Sunderland for nearly 12 years and it is a club I hold dear to my heart.
“I was happy to get the goal to help Reading but I have got a lot of respect for Sunderland, so it was respectful not to celebrate.
“As a team, and a club, we have got very high standards in terms of how we play and we didn’t play our best football.
“Yes, we came away with three points, but we will look to be better in the next game and be more clinical and play better football.
“We’re grateful for the three points, but we expect better of ourselves.”
Sunderland must wait until May 12 for their final away game, at Chelsea. After that, Melanie Copeland’s side face Arsenal (May 16) and Yeovil (May 20) at home.”
Sunderland Ladies (4-3-1-2): Rachael Laws; Victoria Williams, Ellie Stewart, Hayley Sharp, Kylla Sjoman; Dominique Bruinenberg, Kasia Lipka, Zaneta Wyne; Lucy Staniforth; Bridget Galloway (Rachel Pitman 59), Keira Ramshaw. Subs not used: Anke Preuss, Abbey Joice, Simona Koren, Mollie Lambert, Faye Mullen, Louise Griffiths
l To buy tickets to an FA Women’s Super League match, visit www.fawsl.com/tickets