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Sunderland 3 (Greenwell 5, Grant og 11, McDougall 90) Reading Women 2 (Bruton 13, Roche 69)
A frantic start and a frantic end saw Sunderland snatch a last gasp winner to secure all three points against Reading Women in their first home game of the WSL season.
The game kicked off at blistering pace with both sides keen to stamp their authority. With just five minutes played, midfielder Rachel Furness was dragged down on the edge of the box earning her side a free kick. Defender Victoria Greenwell stepped up and produced another stunning free kick which was an almost carbon copy of her goal against Durham earlier in the week.
With eleven minutes gone Sunderland extended their lead, Rachel Furness' powered header from a corner fell to a scrambling Reading defender whose attempted clearance ended up in the back of the net.
Reading responded quickly and two minutes later, Lauren Bruton headed home from a Cheryl Williams cross to get her side back into the game. Reading continued to push forward and went close just before the break as Helen Alderson in the Sunderland goal was forced into a good save from a long range effort by Francesca Kirby.
Within minutes of the restart Abbey Joice latched on to a poor pass by Reading defender Shelly Cox and set up Kelly McDougall for a long range effort that went narrowly wide.
Reading fought hard to get back into the game and were rewarded for their efforts. Under intense pressure the Sunderland defence conceded a direct free kick on the edge of the area and Lois Roche unleashed a stunning strike into the top left hand corner for a deserved equaliser.
With fifteen minutes to go, Sunderland pushed forward for a winner and had their best chances of the game as a result of an 85th minute corner. Reading repeatedly failed to clear the ball and despite the best efforts of nearly every Sunderland player the ball would not go over the line.
With the crowd roaring them on Sunderland continued to press, Beth Mead took on three defenders but her shot was well saved by the Reading goalkeeper. This spurred on Sunderland and in the dying moments of the match a corner kick dropped to Kelly McDougall who hit a sensational strike into the top corner of the net to earn the home side a stunning win.
Sunderland: Helen Alderson, Megan Beer, Victoria Greenwell, Stephanie Bannon, Gemma Wilson, Kelly McDougall, Rachel Furness, Abbey Joice, Keira Ramshaw, Rebekah Bass (sub Emma Kelly 73mins), Beth Mead. Subs not used: Alice Harkness, Abby Holmes, Tyler Dodds, Rebecca Olley.
Reading Women: Nicola Davies, Ciara Grant, Kelly Chambers (sub Alex Keown 73mins), Cheryl Williams (sub Melissa Fletcher 56mins), Rebecca Jane, Lois Roche, Francesca Kirby, Lauren Bruton, Kirsty McGee, Shelly Cox, Molly Bartrip (sub Georgie Giddings 62mins). Subs not used: Grace Moloney, Eartha Pond, Rebekah Haines, Leigh Nicol.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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