SUNDERLAND Women continued their quest to retain their Premier League crown with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Reading Ladies.
Beth Mead’s 40th minute strike proved enough to secure all three points in a dour encounter.
Sunderland started brightly with a succession of corners, but Reading weathered the early storm and began to enjoy much of the possession.
The home side won a free-kick deep into the Sunderland half but the effort on goal was well saved by Rachael Laws.
The Wearsiders took the lead in the 40th minute when Ramshaw found Mead, pictured, just inside the 18-yard box.
She cleverly turned her marker to fire across the keeper and low into the bottom corner.
Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Wilson, McFadden, Devine, Ramshaw, McDougall, Furness, Williams, Gutteridge, Mead (Greenwell). Subs (not used): Alderson, Atkinson, Cauldwell, Christon, Saliki, Bannon.