Sunday 23rd October 2022
Sunderland AFC Women v London City Lionesses
FA Women’s Championship
Eppleton CW Ground, Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Adults £7, Over 65 £3.50, Kids and Students £1 available here
Programme: This week’s edition of R&W is available to view online now.
Highlights: Highlights and a full match replay are available from Monday on the FA Player.
Podcast: Roker Report’s Lasses Podcast Live will be broadcast, as usual, live on Twitter Spaces from 8-9pm BST next Monday. Just go to @RRLasses to listen in.
The three points and two goals gained in Sunderland’s win over Crystal Palace last Sunday moved the Lasses up one place in the FA Women’s Championship. There was more to celebrate this week as goalscorer Katy Watson won the player of the week poll on Twitter in the week of her 17th birthday and Assistant Head Coach Steph Libbey signed a full time contract at the club and will join Mel Reay in working every day at the Academy of Light.
Keira Ramshaw unexpectedly missed out on the trip to Palace with an injury, and we’re not sure whether or not she be back in time for this game. It was good to see footage of Abby Towers and Emily Hutchinson back in training with a ball at their feet this week, but Faye Mullin is now the long-term ACL injury at the club.
It’s a special day at Eppleton as students across the city of Sunderland are encouraged to attend for a £1 entrance, and the team have been taking their well-established stand against discrimination this week by participating in wear red day on Friday and rainbow laces weekend.
London City Lionesses are a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a conundrum. We’ve tried to find supporters to speak to ahead of the game, but beyond the families of the players they seem few and far between. There’s no dedicated fan media - no blogs, websites or independent social media accounts - and when I reached out to their media team this week I received no reply…
Their head coach Melissa Phillips has been in the job permanently for just over two years, having started her career in the USA at the University of Pennsylvania, and told her club’s website this week that they will be looking to build on the excellent start they’ve had to the league campaign.
Sunderland are a very organised side who have made every game competitive in the first 5 matches. We know they are tough to break down and equally potent in their attacking transitions.
It will be a game where we need to bring as much quality as the previous performance while increasing our off-ball movement and focus on both sides. We come into the game with a lot of momentum from our recent performances but know our preparation is key for the task on the weekend.
And they’re a real quality side; they’ve been full-time for a couple of seasons and have got a strong team spirit and a formidable record. Scottish striker Sarah Ewen is the joint top scorer in the league with four goals, and they have talent across the park with Jamaican international Atlanta Primus, experienced Irish international midfielder Lily Agg, defender Hayley Nolan, and forward Rhianna Jarrett, amongst a cosmopolitan squad with a lot of connections to the North American game.
Overall, this is one of the best sides in the division for a reason - they’re very well-funded. Whether they’re capable of truly challenging the likes of Bristol City for the title this season remains to be seen.
(last 5 Barclay’s Women’s Championship Fixtures)
Sunderland AFC Women - W-L-L-L-D
The Lasses have had the most difficult start to the league season imaginable, this game is their fourth against a top-four side and sixth against full-time opposition. Our win and draw so far should, therefore, be viewed in that context.
London City Lionesses - W-W-D-W-L
Second in the league and coming off a 5-0 hammering of bottom-of-the-pile Coventry United. They’re looking for their third consecutive victory and they’ve not conceded a goal for over 270 minutes.
Head to head...
(All venues, all competitions, including friendlies - London City Lionesses and Millwall Lionesses)
Played - 4
Sunderland Wins - 2
Draws - 0
Lionesses Wins - 2
Sunderland Goals - 9
Lionesses Goals - 5
Last Time We Played at Eppleton...
Sunderland 0 - 2 London City Lionesses
7 November 2021
Grazzioli 4’, Jarrett 88’
One to Watch... Harley Bennett
The experienced former Charlton Athletic defender is the club captain and part of one of the most formidable backlines in this division.
The left back was named as the Barclay’s Championship Player of the Month for September, the 32-year-old has over 70 tier appearances and it was her cross to Rhianna Jarrett that gave the Lionesses an early lead at their Dartford home the last time out against Sunderland. She pops up with the occasional goal too, and we can expect her to be a key player this lunchtime.
Thanks so much to everyone that voted https://t.co/MJKaJpHzNN— Harley Sophie Bennett (@harleysophie14) October 21, 2022