Head coach Melanie Reay said Sunderland Ladies must make themselves “harder to beat” after their great start to the women’s season was ended at Liverpool.
The rampant Reds maintained their goalden form with a 4-0 victory at Widnes last night to make it 18 goals in five WSL1 Spring Series fixtures.
Liverpool scored twice in each half, though they were indebted to keeper Siobhan Chamberlain for some stunning saves to keep the Lady Black Cats out.
“Liverpool are a good side, but we are obviously disappointed,” said Reay.
“We’ve started our previous three games so well. Is it a different preparation in midweek?
“Some of the girls were at work for the morning before we met up and got on the bus – it’s not easy.
“But we have to find a way to be harder to beat when we come to places like this.
“Liverpool have started the season well, but they did not do anything we didn’t know they were going to do.
“That’s the frustrating thing – we had prepared well for 10 days for this match, but individual mistakes have cost us.
“We’ve conceded some cheap goals.”
Having just lost to the WSL1 leaders, the Lady Black Cats now face another huge hurdle on Sunday, when they host Chelsea at Hetton.
“It’s up to me to try to find a way to lift them for Chelsea,” added Reay. “That game is going to be just as tough.
“But we have to make sure we are harder to beat.”
There were positives for Sunderland, with Chamberlain making four top-drawer saves from Beverly Leon, Lucy Staniforth (twice) and Dominique Bruinenberg, while Maddie Hill hit the post when it was 2-0.
“I got the reaction I wanted at the start of the second half, but it only lasted 15 minutes unfortunately,” said Reay. “We had three shots which, on another day, go in.
“That’s the difference – we could have been back in the game, but we gave cheap goals away.
“We don’t seem to get cheap goals. It wasn’t our night, we’re disappointed.
“We’ve created chances but leaked four goals.”