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Beth Mead insists that Sunderland's 2-0 victory over Cardiff City on Sunday was a crucial result as they bid to maintain their grip on the Premier League title.
The 16-year-old goalscoring sensation netted the first goal as the Wearsiders opened up a lead of three points at the top of the National Division and she told Women's Soccer Scene: "It was a massive win for us as we hadn't played Cardiff yet this season and didn't know too much about them.
"The weather didn't exactly help but it was a good performance from us in a tough game. There was a very strong wind blowing all game and the ball was moving about - you had to be on your toes all of the time, particularly up front."
Recalling her first half goal, Beth said: "Kelly McDougall, who has produced a lot of my assists this season, played a good through ball over the top for me and I managed to finish it off. We had the better of things from then bit it stayed tight until Steph Bannon's late goal gave us a bit of comfort."
Beth's goal takes her tally to a remarkable 17 in her first year of senior football and keeps her on course to become the first player since Kim Little to score 20 National Division goals in a season. "I was at the Middlesbrough Centre of Excellence last season and I thought I would have to work hard just to get into the team," she admits. "But Mick [Mulhern] saw some potential in me and decided to give me a chance.
"The girls know how I can play and that's a big help for me. I may have been the one scoring the goals but it is the other players who have been making the chances.
"I have enjoyed playing with Natalie Gutteridge up front, she is strong and holds the ball up well. We are different players but we complement each other well and it is a good partnership."
Sunderland take a break from league action over the next few weeks due to commitments in the Premier League Cup and F.A.Women's Cup but Beth is in no doubt as to where the main focus lies. "The league is the main priority and we are concentrating mainly on that," she says.
"We have got a point to prove, to show that we are not a one-season team and we know that people have been watching us closely. There has been pressure on us and we have high expectations ourselves.
"I missed out on winning the league last year as I was not old enough to play senior football but a lot of the girls have told me what it was like and we want that feeling again.
"We have got three games left in the league and all are away from home. We have to play Aston Villa, Charlton and Cardiff and none of those games are going to be easy, but hopefully we can do it.
"Leeds have been close rivals and have got better and younger players this season and gave us two tough games but thankfully we managed to win both."
Beth has also been a part of the England Under-17 squad this season and is aiming to help them through to the UEFA Under-17 Championship Finals this summer. "We got knocked out in the second phase last year so we've got something to prove there," she said. "This time we have to play Switzerland, Belgium and Iceland for a place in the Finals. We've got the players to get there, we just need to play to the best of our ability."
Sunderland have produced a number of top players in recent years including the likes of Jill Scott, Steph Houghton, Carly Telford and Jordan Nobbs amongst others and Beth is one of a few more on the production line. "I want to play at the highest level I can, hopefully for Sunderland," she admits. "Jordan Nobbs was at the Centre of Excellence when I started and I have always looked up to her and followed her career.
"Sunderland have the potential to be as good as Arsenal in the future and if we can get into the Super League, we feel we can do well there."
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