With wins against Nottingham Forest and Derby County on the road following a home loss to Glasgow Celtic so far this summer, facing a side who finished fourth last season provided the best indication of the level required to compete in the second tier.
Despite an encouraging performance from Mel Reay’s Sunderland Ladies side in South Yorkshire, the Blades scored an early goal through Lucy Watson before a stunning long-range strike from former Black Cat Kasia Lipka doubled the lead on the hour.
Following the friendly defeat, focus will now turn to next week’s trip to the West Midlands with concern over new signing Emma Kelly who missed the weekend game through injury.
Sunderland Ladies: Moan; Beer, McCatty, Potts, Griffiths; Brown, Herron, Joice; Scarr, Ramshaw, Farrugia.
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Subs: Cowling, Mullen, Hutchinson, McInnes, Manders, Blakey.