Sunderland Women fall to defeat away to Lewes Women

Sunderland Women fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Lewes Women in the Barclays FA Championship.
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It was a disappointing return to league action for the Black Cats who last played early February due to the international break and the FA Cup fifth round weekend.

Looking for their fourth win in five games, goals from Ellie Mason and Kirsty Barton in a game of little action and few chances would see Mel Reay’s side return from East Sussex empty handed.

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There were some changes to the starting XI with Midfielder Brenna McPartlan, who has made two appearances from the bench since joining the club in February, handed her first start while under-23 players Rhiannon Mallaburn and Milly Cairns were among the substitutes.

Sunderland Women in action. Picture by Kasey Taylor/Sunderland AFC.Sunderland Women in action. Picture by Kasey Taylor/Sunderland AFC.
Sunderland Women in action. Picture by Kasey Taylor/Sunderland AFC.

The visitors would start brighter in what would be a tough first half for both sides - Brianna Westrup turning Emily Scarr’s corner towards goal but her flicked effort was collected by Sophie Whitehouse.

Lewes then had chances of their own during a brief spell on top which saw Nat Johnson clip the post and Mason fire narrowly over after creating space on the edge of the area.

Katy Watson’s pace was causing countless problems for the home defence - the England youth international appeared to be brought down in the box after breaking in behind, and then forcing a good save after leaving her marker in her wake.

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After the restart Claudia Moan called into action to save from Grace Palmer.

When Lewes did threaten again - almost 15 minutes later - they would take the lead through Mason’s firm strike. Sunderland barely had time to compose themselves and regroup before she was in again once more, but her attempt was inches off target.

Reay called on forward Liz Ejupi in the hope of launching a comeback in the closing stages and the lift her introduction provided almost paid off immediately but Jessica Brown struck the post after being played in by Watson.

Any hopes of salvaging a point was dashed in stoppage time as Lewes put the game beyond doubt through Barton who claimed her first goal for the club.

Sunderland: Moan; Beer, Herron, Westrup, Morgan (Ede 85’); Jessica Brown, McPartlan (Ejupi, 74’), Kelly (c), Danielle Brown, Scarr, Watson.

Subs: Cowling, Borthwick, McInnes, Mallaburn, Cairns.