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Women's Football News
Notts County 4 (White 22,23, Clarke 29, Williams 37) Sunderland 2 (Mead 5, Williams og 75)
Notts County moved up to third in the FA WSL table with a thrilling 4-2 victory over league newcomers Sunderland.
The visitors took an early lead, only to see the Lady Pies take the game by the scruff of the neck with three goals in eight first half minutes.
The game was just five minutes old when a long ball over the top saw Beth Mead get the wrong side of Amy Turner and lift the ball over an exposed Carly Telford to give the Lady Black Cats the lead. Kelly McDougall had a chance to double the visitors lead shortly afterwards, the ball falling kindly for her eight yards out, but the midfielder sliced her effort wide.
With that, County took the ascendancy, Rachael Laws twice punching clear dangerous Alex Greenwood free kicks before Jess Clarke won a set piece 30 yards from goal. Dani Buet and Greenwood stood over the ball, the former striking it towards goal, Ellen White deflecting the ball past Laws, who had already dived the other way, and into the corner of the net to level.
Straight from the kick off, White put County in front. Rachel Williams chested down the ball in the middle of the park, taking a superb touch before sliding the ball into her strike partner who took the ball in her stride and poked it past the despairing keeper.
The away side could have levelled on 26 minutes, Carly Telford making a spectacular one handed save to deny the visitors, tipping a header onto the bar, Amy Turner completing the job with an acrobatic clearance. The chance spurred on the Lady Pies who continued their domination, making it three just minutes later. Williams was at the heart of the move again, plucking the ball out of the air before driving forward towards the defence. The striker's threat drew in the full back, leaving space for Jess Clarke who collected the ball before firing past Laws, the keeper getting two hands to the ball but only helping it into the corner.
With a 3-1 lead it could have been expected for Notts to take their foot of the gas and consolidate the lead, however they did completely the opposite. Clarke's cross was only cleared as far as Sophie Walton, the right back got the ball out of her feet and sent in an inch perfect cross for Rachel Williams who headed past the visitors keeper into the corner for her fourth goal in five league games.
At the start of the second half, the home side continued their domination from the first period. Left back Greenwood burst into the box, choosing to square it towards White rather than shooting, but Victoria Williams did well to clear.
There was a scare for Notts before the hour mark, scorer Mead breaking free before firing wide with just Telford to beat. With fifteen minutes to go, Sunderland reduced the deficit to two. Victoria Greenwell swung in a cross deep from the right, Rachel Williams and Victoria Williams rising together, the ball striking the County forward and beating England keeper Telford.
The goal could have sparked a comeback by the Lady Black Cats, but the home side nullified any threat and comfortably saw out the final ten minutes to seal another three points.
Notts County: Carly Telford, Alex Greenwood, Amy Turner, Laura Bassett, Sophie Walton, Danielle Buet, Leanne Crichton, Aileen Whelan (sub Dunia Susi 69mins), Rachel Williams (sub Fiona O'Sullivan 76mins), Jess Clarke, Ellen White. Subs not used: Jules Draycott, Fern Whelan, Ashleigh Plumptre, Laura-Jayne O'Neill.
Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Victoria Greenwell, Stephanie Bannan (sub Gemma Wilson 31mins), Victoria Williams, Hayley Sharp, Sarah McFadden (sub Madelaine Hill 89mins), Kiera Ramshaw, Abbey Joice, Brooke Chaplen, Kelly McDougall, Beth Mead. Subs not used: Natalie Gutteridge, Rebekah Bass.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
Photos by Susan Gutteridge:
(top) Abbey Joice holds off Amy Turner
(middle) Brooke Chaplen is faced by Sophie Walton
(bottom) Beth Mead battles for the ball with Laura Bassett
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