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Sunderland 0 Everton 2 (Parris 36, Davies 76)
Sunderland's hopes of qualifying for the semi finals of the Continental Cup came to an end after a 2-0 defeat to Everton on Wearside.
Both teams flew out of the blocks but it was the away side who had the first attack with less than a minute on the clock. Sunderland responded in the fourth minute when striker Beth Mead saw a shot well blocked.
With 20 minutes gone, the home side were really starting to come into the game. The Sunderland defence dealt well with pressure from Everton forward Nikita Parris, while Mead had a couple of half chances at the other end.
The Sunderland forward came close in the 26th minute when her stunning strike from the edge of the box beat the Everton keeper but flashed just wide.
The deadlock was broken eleven minutes later as Parris slotted the ball past a diving Rachael Laws in the Sunderland goal.
With just two minutes go until half time, Abby Holmes picked up a yellow card for kicking the ball off an Everton player and saw a second yellow a minute later for a foul on Parris.
Sunderland started the second half having made a change with Megan Beer coming on for Emma Kelly. Shortly after the restart, Mead found Sophie Williams on the edge of the box, but her shot flew wide. Sunderland continued to put the Toffees under pressure, with the pace of Mead and Williams proving a handful.
With half an hour remaining, Williams was released down the left by Rachel Furness but as the forward broke into the Everton area, she slipped and Megan Walsh claimed her shot.
The Lady Black Cats continued in the same fashion and two minutes later saw their best chance of the game fall to Mead. Furness again broke down the left hand channel, cutting the ball back to Mead inside the area who skipped over two Everton defenders before unleashing a powerful shot which Walsh just touched behind. The resulting corner saw Furness head powerfully toward the bottom corner - her effort cleared on the line by the Toffees' defence.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Everton sealed the win through substitute Lauren Davies as the midfielder unleashed an unstoppable 25-yard drive into the top corner.
Sunderland responded almost instantly as Furness again fed Williams inside the box, with Walsh again on hand to save.
A battling performance ended in defeat for the Lady Black Cats who must now wait two weeks for their top-of-the-table WSL 2 clash with Doncaster Rovers Belles.
Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Abby Holmes, Victoria Greenwell, Rachel Furness (sub Lauren Briggs 86mins), Steph Bannon, Hayley Sharp, Keira Ramshaw, Kelly McDougall, Beth Mead (sub Megan Beer 45mins), Sophie Williams (sub Rebekah Bass 81mins).
Everton: Megan Walsh, Vicky Jones, Alex Greenwood (sub Amy Kane 56mins), Brooke Chaplen (sub Lauren Davies 71mins), Fern Whelan, Lindsay Johnson, Danielle Turner, Michelle Hinnigan, Nikita Parris (sub Paige Williams 50mins), Simone Magill, Kelly Jones.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Photos by Susan Gutteridge:
(top) Beth Mead runs at Paige Williams
(middle) Rebekah Bass is tackled by Vicky Jones
(bottom) Sophie Williams on the attack, pursued by Danielle Turner
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