Rich Speight says...
Sunderland looked far superior to the visitors from Sheffield this weekend - players are willing to run at defenders and not afraid to take a shot on goal whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Keira Ramshaw set the tone early on and it continued throughout the 90 minutes. That, combined with some really crisp interplay and great deliveries from out wide, was clearly too much for their defence to cope with. But who knows what would have happened had their shot from the edge of the box early on gone in rather than hit Claudia Moan’s bar - those moments can change games.
The confidence, resilience and camaraderie in the squad is plain to see, and they bounced back quickly after conceding in the second half.
Credit should be given to the whole coaching staff for preparing the Lasses so well for the game in such a short space of time, including conditioning coach Lee Fairley whose fitness plans have kept the team in shape during this latest lockdown.
They now have under a week to prepare for their next challenge.
Rebecca Johnson says...
That was a solid win for the Lasses on Sunday, and it was great to see them take the chance to progress through the FA Cup. Sheffield have proved to be a sticky side in the past, and the fact that the Lasses won 5-1, despite both sides not having played for a long time, was a testament to their commitment.
A huge congratulations has to go to Eve Blakey for getting not only her first senior goal for the Lasses, but a hat-trick to boot! It sounded like a really dominant performance from the side and the highlights showed captain Keys looking sharp - her first goal was lovely dipping past the defence and taking the shot on.
With the season being curtailed, the FA Cup is a good chance for the side to earn some prize money and actually be able to play some football without the thought of the league in the back of their minds. Exciting times lie ahead for the squad.
Ant Waterson says...
It was great to see the Lasses back in action - and the whole squad’s attitude towards the game was epitomised by Grace McCatty’s smiles during the warm-up!
In truth, Sheffield made it far too easy for the Lasses, who were comfortable throughout, and it was great to see Ramshaw getting us off to the perfect start. I’m really pleased for Eve Blakey - she’s got real talent and turn out to be a real superstar if she continues to work hard and progress, so congratulations to her on a fantastic hat-trick.
Well done to Sunderland on providing the video highlights too; we’ve seen a lovely finish from Keira to put us one up, two lovely poacher goals and a calm pen from Blakey, and it was great to see Emily Scarr looking so dangerous as well. We play Burnley next, who will be difficult, but if we see a repeat of this performance, I know we can do it.
Ha’way the Lasses!
Graeme Field says...
The simple things, eh? It was great to just be able to see the highlights of the game - and what a way to mark your return to action as a club!
It couldn’t have been more fitting for the opening goal to have come from club legend Keira Ramshaw, after such a long lay off for the side.
There was more than just a cup tie at stake at the Academy of Light; it was the chance to keep the season alive by progressing to the next round. It looked like difficult conditions in the wind, and yet the lasses still played their football.
It’s brilliant to see Eve Blakey looking so sharp in front of goal. Wide player and former Middlesbrough star Emily Scarr was also a real danger - she’s a defender’s worst nightmare. And, as ever, the defence looked solid, with McCatty and Herron a formidable pairing at the back. With a tough test next week in the cup, away to Burnley, they’ll need to be as dominant as ever.
There was plenty of support online from fans following on Twitter, which was great to see. Hopefully we might have another deadly striker on the books in Eve Blakey.
Congratulations Eve on your hattrick!