England and ex-Sunderland ace Lucy Staniforth sent off following altercation with fan after scoring Birmingham winner in FA Cup clash
Sunderland Ladies were knocked out of the Women's FA Cup by Birmingham City Women thanks to a goal from England international and ex-SAFC player Lucy Staniforth – who was then sent off after an altercation with a home fan after celebrating the winner.
The fifth round tie was overshadowed by the late incident, which saw Staniforth run and celebrate in front of a home fan.
Staniforth was red-carded while the supporter was removed from the ground on the instruction of the referee. It is not clear what sparked the incident.
Birmingham controlled large sections of the game, but didn’t take the lead until five minutes from time when a free kick from outside the area evaded Claudia Moan in the Sunderland goal.
In the first half, Birmingham enjoyed the majority of possession and had the better chances to take the lead.
Moan was in inspired form in the Sunderland goal to deny former player Lucy Staniforth on the half hour mark when she tipped a powerful effort round the post.
Birmingham should have gone in at half time a goal to the good, but an unmarked Staniforth fired over from close range and ensured that the sides went in goalless at half time.
Sunderland started the second half with a chance of their own as both Gibson and Ramshaw had shots blocked inside the Blues penalty area.
Birmingham wasted further chances just after the hour mark, first Walker fired wide from inside the penalty area, before Moan once again kept Birmingham out with a stunning one v one save from Grant.
On 67 minutes, Sunderland created a great chance, Bridget Galloway fired over the crossbar.
Birmingham took the lead in the 85th minute when Staniforth’s free kick cruelly slipped through Moan’s hands and nestled in the back of the net.
The former Sunderland Ladies player was subsequently sent off in the aftermath of the goal and a spectator was removed from the ground.
Sunderland: Moan, Herron (Barker), Potts, Griffiths, Ramshaw ©, Lambert, Galloway, Gibson, Beer, McCatty, Farrugia.
Birmingham: Brooks, Scott, Harrop, Holloway, Mayling (Broughham) Scofield (Whipp), Staniforth, Kelly (Grant), Williams, Visalli, Walker.