Sunderland Ladies hit by Bristol City setback in WSL1

Sunderland Ladies' Lucy Staniforth (red/white) battles against Bristol City at Mariners Park on Saturday. Picture by Tim Richardson
Sunderland Ladies' Lucy Staniforth (red/white) battles against Bristol City at Mariners Park on Saturday. Picture by Tim Richardson

Sunderland Ladies’ winless WSL1 run reached five matches with Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Bristol City Women at Mariners Park.

Millie Farrow a got the visitors off to a perfect start with a goal on 13 minutes.

The forward jinked one way then the other before chipping the on-rushing Rachael Laws as the Sunderland keeper charged out.

Sunderland came close to equalising on 28 minutes, but Kasia Lipka’s floated cross in toward the back post eluded Lucy Staniforth, yet still forced Bristol stopper Sophie Baggaley to tip the ball around the post.

Lauren Hemp doubled City’s lead on the half-hour mark, slamming home the rebound after her penalty was saved by Laws following Kylla Sjoman’s clumsy challenge on Yana Daniels.

Zaneta Wyne nodded wide of the far post as Sunderland responded.

The hosts did find an avenue back into the game in the 56th minute, when Staniforth struck decisively after Abbey Joyce picked the pocket of the Bristol defence, but there would be no second goal for Mel Copeland as City avenged their 2-1 home defeat.

Sunderland defender Victoria Williams: “We’re really disappointed.

“We’ve gifted them two goals and then we have got back into the game and stopped playing after that.

“So, instead of carrying on the momentum, we have started just looking long and we lost a bit of discipline.

“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb at half-time, but we did believe we could do it.

“We got the early goal back through some good play, but we’re really disappointed we couldn’t build on it.”

The Wearsiders’ next game is at home to Reading on Sunday.

Bristol City manager Willie Kirk said: “There were few clear-cut chances.

“The Sunderland goal came off one of our mistakes and that showed them being clinical too.

“We were very professional in terms of seeing out the first half after we went 2-0 up, then one thing that has happened to us as a young team is when we have conceded it has taken us a while to recover.

“But we recovered straight away and that is a big step forward for us.”

Sunderland Ladies (4-5-1): Rachel Laws; Rachel Pitman (Bridget Galloway 59), Hayley Sharp, Victoria Williams, Kylla Sjoman; Abbey Joice, Kasia Lipka, Lucy Staniforth, Zaneta Wyne, Mollie Lambert (Dominique Bruinenberg 72); Keira Ramshaw. Subs not used: Anke Preuss, Simona Koren, Louise Griffiths. Booking: Laws 67

Bristol City Women (4-2-3-1): Sophie Baggaley; Jas Matthews (Frankie Brown 77), Millie Turner, Danque Kerkdijk, Flo Allen; Chloe Arthur, Julie Biesmans; Yana Daniels, Carla Humphrey (Aimee Palmer 68), Lauren Hemp; Millie Farrow (Jesse Woodley 63). Subs not used: Aimee Watson, Loren Dykes, Poppy Wilson. Booking: Matthews 53

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