Sunderland desperate for a home win

SUNDERLAND AFC Women play host to fellow relegation-threatened Southampton on Sunday after several months without a home fixture.

It is a must-win game for the Black Cats if they are to avoid the drop.

Ironically, it was their 5-2 win in Hampshire against the Saints that saw their National Division status retained last season.

After several setbacks through injury and players leaving to play abroad, Sunderland have made a hat-trick of recent signings.

Versatile England U19 player Laura Humphries and defender Danielle Petrovic join England senior international Aran Embleton (signed in December) in signing from northern rivals Doncaster Belles.

Skilful midfielder Denise Thomas has joined after returning from a very successful two-year stint with Central Connecticut State University in the US.

However, aggravation of an old knee injury may see her join fellow knee victim and midfielder Karen Scorer, on the sidelines for tomorrow's game.

On a more positive note, regular number one Lisa Vile should be back in between the sticks after illness ruled her out of the side's 1-0 loss at Brighton three weeks ago.

Southampton have striker Una Nwajei back from a week and a half on England duty, so could be a tough prospect as they also go in search of vital points.

Tomorrow's match is played at the Riverside Sports Complex in Chester-le-Street (noon kick-off). Entry is free.