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London Bees 0 Sunderland 3 (Bass 29, Mead 50, McDougall 55)
Sunderland successfully navigated their way through a tricky match at the Hive, beating London Bees 3-0 to pick up a third successive win and stay five points clear at the top of WSL 2.
Beth Mead should have opened the scoring within 120 seconds, but the usually clinical striker fluffed her lines from close range after tenacious work down the right from Rebekah Bass.
Bass decided to take matters into her own hands five minutes later, weaving past the Bees defence and shooting at goal where Harris saved. Chances continued to fall for the Lady Black Cats with Abby Holmes and Mead both going close, before Hayley Sharp saw her headed effort chalked off for offside.
Megan Goss then created a good chance for the home side but moments later they were punished as Bass and Mead combined, allowing the latter to stroke the ball under Sophie Harris and into the net.
The Wearsiders' attacking duo continued to wreak havoc in opposition territory, with Mead denied by a stunning last ditch challenge from Aofie Hurley before Bass shot straight at Harris from 20 yards.
The home side made a bright start to the second period, forcing an early corner, but they were dealt a hammer blow on 50 minutes as Harris failed to hold onto a shot and Mead tucked home the rebound to make it 2-0.
Five minutes later Kelly McDougall added a third as the Lady Black Cats combined brilliantly, with Mead playing a crossfield ball to Bass whose neat pass was swept into the roof of the net.
Sunderland continued to pile forward and had it not been for an inspired performance from Harris between the posts they would have scored more, with the goalkeeper denying Mead and Bass with three wonderful saves in the space of five minutes.
Steph Bannon was next to try her luck curling a free kick over the bar, before Harris again came to the rescue for the home side to divert Keira Ramshaw's low strike past the post.
The Black Cats had a second goal ruled out for offside in added time, but it failed to take the shine off a deserved win and an important three points.
London Bees: Sophie Harris, Amber Gaylor, Samantha Chappell, Aoife Hurley, Billie Brooks, Amy Cooper (sub Laura Miller 59mins), Megan Goss (sub Samantha Carson 74mins), Paula Howells, Anneka Nuttall, Rebecca Anderson, Andria Georgiou (sub Shanade Hopcroft 80mins).
Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Abby Holmes (sub Megan Beer 70mins), Vicki Greenwell, Rachel Furness, Steph Bannon, Hayley Sharp, Keira Ramshaw, Kelly McDougall, Beth Mead (sub Sophie Williams 64mins), Rebekah Bass (sub Emma Kelly 81mins), Abbey Joice.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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