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Sunderland 2 (Mead 4, Ramshaw 48) Durham Women 0
Sunderland Ladies extended their lead at the top of FA WSL 2 with a 2-0 win over Durham FC Women.
Beth Mead opened the scoring with just four minutes played, powering the ball into the back of the net from just inside the box. Both sides created further opportunities in an even first half, but after failing to add to their tally in the opening 45 minutes the Lady Black Cats netted a decisive second within 60 seconds of the restart to seal the three points.
Sunderland made a bright start the match and after just four minutes they took the lead through England Under-20 World Cup star Mead, after the home side's forward thinking led to a free kick. Vicki Greenwell stepped up to take, swinging a testing ball into the box where it eventually dropped to Mead who volleyed the ball past the motionless Dan Hill.
Six minutes later Mead was tormenting the Durham backline once more but after getting on the end of a looping cross her header was easily dealt with by Hill.
Kelly McDougall's testing free kick caused havoc soon after with the away side scrambling the ball clear, before a stunning pass from Rachel Furness unleashed Rebekah Bass who shot into the side netting.
The visitors ended the half on the front foot after edging their way back into the game, but the ever-reliable Rachael Laws was on hand to deny Zoe Ness and Jemma Purfield.
The Black Cats extended their lead within 60 seconds of the restart as Ramshaw connected with an excellent cross to fire the ball into the net from close range.
Durham responded with their first chance of the half as Ness dragged a shot wide of the mark, with Furness blazing a shot over the crossbar moments later after Bass raced through on goal.
Sunderland remained comfortable in possession, opting to absorb the pressure and hit the Wildcats on the break, and midway through the second period it almost paid off as the referee chalked off a third goal for offside.
The final chance of the encounter fell to Durham as Sunderland somehow cleared the ball off the line three times before Ness blasted the ball over the crossbar, ending any chances of a late comeback as the hosts sealed a second successive win.
Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Abby Holmes, Vicki Greenwell, Rachel Furness, Step Bannon, Hayley Sharp, Keira Ramshaw, Kelly McDougall, Beth Mead (sub Lauren Briggs 86mins), Rebekah Bass (sub Sophie Williams 65mins), Abbey Joice (sub Emma Kelly 68mins).
Durham Women: Danielle Hill, Ellie Christon, Jemma Purfield, Victoria Linsley (sub Lauren Jordinson 85mins), Jennifer King, Sarah Wilson, Beth Hepple, Emily Scott (sub Jess Round 85mins), Zoe Ness, Jordan Atkinson, Beth Jennings (sub Kate Bradley 65mins).
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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