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Lasses Match Report & Ratings: Sunderland get back to winning ways!

Sunderland Ladies are victorious for the first time in 2022 with a battling 2-0 win over Charlton in front of a good crowd on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Eppleton Colliery Welfare in Hetton.

Mel Reay made three changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace last week with Claudia Moan replacing AllIson Cowling in goal, Abby Towers replacing the injured Megan Beer at the back, and Neve Herron was back in midfield after suspension with Libbi McIness dropping to the bench.

Sunderland started the better of the two sides and almost went ahead in the 4th minute when Grace McCatty rattled the bar from a corner.

Sunderland kept on the front foot and were forcing Charlton into making sloppy errors. Jess Brown intercepted some careless defending to find Abbey Joice but she could not get her shot away as the hosts looked to get the goal their early pressing warranted.

Charlton then grew into the game and should have went ahead when Sulola went through but lost her footing when about to shoot.

The game was halted when Louise Griffiths was on the receiving end of a nasty challenge but despite being down for a few minutes, she continued on. Keira Ramshaw tried to force the ball home from the resulting free kick but it was saved.

Charlton ended the half well and a vicious free kick flew over everyone to bring the end to the first half, and they continued where they left off early in the second half as Chelsea-loanee Jorja Fox looked to play in Hughes but her shot was saved by Moan.

The games first goal came just after the hour mark where Farrugia did very well to win a corner. Emma Kelly sent a lovely ball in and Ramshaw looked to force it in but the clearance fell to Herron who struck it low and beat the keeper to send the crowd wild.

Charlton looked to equalise straight away and a nice team move resulted in Moan pulling off a fine save to deny Hughes.

Sunderland were then forced into a change when Ramshaw had to come off after a facial injury to be replaced by Holly Manders.

Moan was called into action again when Rutherford struck low but another great save forced a corner. The visitor had a chance from the resulting cross, but the keeper was at her very best to deny Robinson.

Charlton were throwing everything at it but it was Sunderland who would get the second and decisive goal on the 90th minute when Holly Manders was brought down when running through on goal.

Herron showed calm and courage beyond her 18 years by stepping up and firing the ball into the corner and collecting the three points for the Lasses.

A hard earned three points and massive reward to the whole squad as finally the luck came to match the performances have been there for weeks. Haway the Lasses!

Attendance: 554


Watch the full match reply and highlights on the FA Player from Monday afternoon


Player Ratings

Claudia Moan: 9

By far Moans’ best game of the season, she made three superb saves in the second half to preserve Sunderlands lead.

Jessica Brown: 8

Probably Brown’s best game since returning from injury. Was up and down and defended brilliantly when called upon.

Grace McCatty: 8

It’s no coincidence that Sunderland have looked more solid since McCatty’s return. Didn’t shirk from the tackle at all today.

Abby Towers: 8

The signing from ‘Boro looks like she’s played for us for years. A really promising defender with a big future ahead of her.

Louise Griffiths: 8

Griffiths looked in considerable pain when injured early on but carried on and didn’t bottle anything. Improving every game.

Neve Herron: 9

A welcome return to midfield for Herron. Passing range was super and took her first goal well. Showed amazing courage to step up for the penalty.

Abbey Joice: 7

A typical Joicey never say die display. Our engine today.

Emma Kelly: 7

Another player who enjoyed her best game since returning from injury, Kelly played a terrific ball into the box for the first goal.

Keira Ramshaw: 7

Played out wide today and grew into the game. Put her head where it hurts to create the opening foe the first goal. Had to depart shortly after due to a facial injury.

[Ed’s note: Massive congrats to Keira and her fiance who are expecting a baby in August!]

Emily Scarr: 7

Another who is improving game by game. Was vital to our counter attacking play.

Maria Farrugia: 7

Got caught offside a lot but showed a battling side to her game today. Some nice skill won the corner for the 1st goal.


Subs

Holly Manders: 7

Defended well from the front and won the penalty for the second goal.

Libbi McIness: 6

Came on to give Sunderland much needed fresh legs late in the game.

Katy Watson: 6

Came on with Mciness and showed signs of pace to worry the Charlton back line.


Player of the Match: Claudia Moan

I feel harsh not giving this to Neve Herron but the keeper has had a rough time of it this season and to see this performance was so heart warming. She kept us in the game as Charlton pressed for the equaliser and some of her saves were top draw. I’m really proud of you Clauds.

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