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Watford Women v Sunderland Ladies - Barclays FA Women’s Championship

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Match Report: Sunderland come close but have to settle for Watford draw

A scrappy game at King’s Langley saw Sunderland fail to take advantage of some golden opportunities, having to settle for a point on the road.

So close! Captain Keys hits the bar…
| Photo by Richard Heathcote - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Sunderland went into yesterday’s game at second bottom Watford having made two changes from last week’s home defeat to London City Lionesses; Libbi McInnes and Eve Blakey coming into the starting eleven at the expense of the injured Abbey Joice and the rested Jessica Brown, with the latter dropping to the bench.

Watford dominated the early exchanges and they hit the near post from a header, which goalkeeper Cowley had covered. It was Sunderland though who took the lead in the 17th minute when centre half Charlotte Potts found herself out wide and delivered a delightful cross which captain Keira Ramshaw powerfully headed into the net. With Sunderland having taken the lead both sides worked hard to make things happen, but Sunderland went into the half time break with a 1-0 lead.

Watford Women v Sunderland Ladies - Barclays FA Women’s Championship
Charlotte Potts of Sunderland holds off Leanne Bell of Watford during the Barclays FA Women’s Championship match between Watford Women and Sunderland Ladies on November 14, 2021 in Kings Langley, England.
Photo by Richard Heathcote - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

The second half kicked off under floodlights, and not long after a speculative effort from Sunderland nearly gave us a second, Fergusson, the Watford keeper, almost dropping the cross into her own goal, but she quickly recovered to gather.

In the 51st minute Watford equalised with a great strike from Bell, with a slight deflection taking it away from the diving Cowling. Sunderland didn’t feel sorry for themselves though and Potts had a header cleared off the Watford goal line shortly after. With minutes to go, Ramshaw ran through into space on the edge of the box, but her shot clipped the top of the crossbar on its way over.

In the 83rd minute the Watford substitute keeper made a quite astounding save from close range from Ramshaw, to deny her and Sunderland our second of the game.

The Lasses thought they had snatched a win in the third minute of injury time when the ball fell to the hard working Blakey, who couldn’t keep the ball down and it flew over the crossbar.

Watford Women v Sunderland Ladies - Barclays FA Women’s Championship
Watford goal keeper Mia Smith watches the action during the Barclays FA Women’s Championship match between Watford Women and Sunderland Ladies on November 14, 2021 in Kings Langley, England.
Photo by Richard Heathcote - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Another point on the road for Sunderland and I would have taken that going into the last ten minutes of the game. However, with the chances we missed in that final spell, I’m sure players and fans alike will be disappointed not to leave north London with all three points.

There are though plenty of positives for us to take into the home game against league leaders Liverpool this Saturday.

Ha’way the lasses.

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