Sunderland Ladies net EIGHT against Nottingham Forest as Durham beat Crystal Palace

Sunderland Ladies (red/white) v Nottingham Forest Ladies (gold) at Eppleton CW, Hetton, on Sunday.
Sunderland Ladies (red/white) v Nottingham Forest Ladies (gold) at Eppleton CW, Hetton, on Sunday.
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Sunderland Ladies stuck eight past Nottingham Forest in a fine display which saw them continue their title tilt.

A hat-trick from captain Keira Ramshaw set the tone for the Lady Black Cats, with Emily Hutchinson’s brace adding to strikes from Bridget Galloway, Faye Mullen and Anna Young.

In a dominant performance, Mel Reay’s side found themselves three goals up inside the opening nine minutes.

Ramshaw opened the scoring when she drilled home from the edge of the box on three minutes, with the skipper adding a second moments later as she converted a Jordan Atkinson cross.

The third came from the penalty spot as Galloway dusted herself and converted from 12 yards after being brought down by Forest skipper Kelly Darby.

And after that promising opening, Sunderland continued their onslaught and had a fourth just before the half hour as Young slotted home from close range.

Grace McCatty then saw a goal ruled out for a foul, before Ramshaw netted her third and the Black Cats’ fifth with a well-taken free-kick.

There was time for a sixth before the break, too, with Young playing in Hutchinson who squeezed the ball home from an acute angle.

Young turned provider once again after the interval as well, this time threading in full-back Mullen who netted her first goal for the club with a precise, curling effort to make it seven.

And Hutchinson then turned home a cross from Galloway to make it eight as Sunderland cruised to a victory which sees them keep pace at the top of the FA Women’s National League - having lost just twice all season.

Meanwhile, Durham Women continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Despite dominating throughout, the Wildcats had to wait until the second half for an opener as Emily Roberts found the net with a fine curling strike.

And a second came late on courtesy of a comical own goal from Ciara Watling who headed past her own goalkeeper under no pressure.

Durham travel to London Bees next weekend as they aim to maintain a strong start to the campaign.