Sunderland Ladies were victim of yet another refereeing howler as they went down 1-0 to Crystal Palace women at Eppleton Colliery Welfare yesterday.
The lasses started brightly and a nice move saw Emma Kelly having a shot blocked in the first few minutes.
Sunderland continued to force the issue and Abbey Joice kept the Palace defenders on their toes by bursting forward to set up Maria Farrugia who’s cross was parried into Emily Scarr’s path, but she could not force the ball home.
Mel Reay was forced to make a change in midway through the first half when Megan Beer suffered an injury and was replaced by the returning Abby Towers.
The lasses then should have been given a penalty when Scarr was bundled over just inside the box for for a second home game in a row, but was told to get up by the referee.
Scarr was then the action again, cutting inside and hitting a beautiful shot that smashed against the post. The ball broke to Palace, who went straight up the other end and hit the post through Millie Farrow, in what was a pulsating first half.
The second half got underway and just minutes old when Grace McCatty and Farrow clashed, with the striker coming off worse. Farrow had to leave the pitch with what looked liked a bad shoulder injury.
The lasses thought they took the lead in the 57th minute when Maria Farrugia scored after a powerful McCatty header off a corner, but the flag was correctly raised as the Maltese international had come back from an offside position on the Palace goal line.
Just three minutes later and the games most controversial moment came when Mollie Sharpe was played in and looked to be well offside, but the flag stayed down and Sharpe had an easy finish to put the visitors ahead.
The lasses were clearly furious about the decision with the assistant referee not giving a clear indication of which Sunderland player played Sharpe onside.
A tiring Sunderland side continued to huff and puff for an equaliser, with Mel Reay making an attacking triple substitution but Palace saw the game out.
It was a really tough one to take for Reay’s side who saw their gaffer sent off for the heinous crime of kicking a water bottle with seconds of injury time to go.
LASSES PODCAST LIVE @SAFCLadies 0-1 @cpfc_w— Roker Report (@RokerReport) February 28, 2022
- officials deny Sunderland points again
- Towering return for Abby
- Mel Reay sees red
All that and more on tonight’s live discussion, in association with @HerGameToo#HawayTheLasses | #SAFC ⚪️
Allison Cowling: 7
A tremendous double save in the second half in an otherwise quiet day for Cowling.
Jessica Brown: 6
Jecca was up and down the right side with pace and intent in first half, but tired in the second.
Grace McCatty: 8
Grace was strong in the tackle and led the line superbly well on her return from a three-match ban.
Megan Beer: 6
She was playing well before injury ended her game. Get well soon Meg.
Louise Griffiths: 6
Usual energetic display from Louise with one or two fantastic challenges to prevent goalscoring opportunities.
Keira Ramshaw: 7
Typical blood and thunder performance from the skipper on Sunday. She was unlucky not to score with a second half header.
Abbey Joice 8
By far Sunderlands best player in first half with skill and pace to scare the Palace players. Again she tired in the second, but Joicey covered every inch of that turf today.
Libby McInnes: 6
Some nice touches from Peg in the game. Worked her socks off before being replaced in the 2nd half.
Emma Kelly: 7
Great to see her back from injury and was unfortunate not to score today. Was replaced in the 2nd half.
Emily Scarr: 7
So unfortunate to hit the post in the first half and should have won us a penalty. Another one to tire in the 2nd half.
Maria Farrugia: 7
Excellent forward play in the first half but needs to get her head up when running with the ball. A couple of times today she didn’t see the easy pass.
Abby Towers: 8
Towers by name and by nature today. She was very impressive on her return to Sunderland, and quickly struck up a good partnership with McCatty.
Katy Watson: 6
Is used to having the ball played over the top for her and Palace sat back when they went ahead. Still gave it absolutely everything.
Grace Ede, Holly Manders & Faye Mullen: N/A
Not enough time to get into the game. I would have liked to have seen these three given more of a run out.
Player of the Match: Abbey Joice
A superb midfield display. Gave it everything and was involved in all of Sunderlands best moves.
(Referee: 0 Less said the better)