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Lasses Match Report & Ratings: Great performance by Sunderland to get a 2-2 draw v Bristol City!

Sunderland rounded off their FA Women’s Championship campaign with a great performance against a strong Bristol City team. Graeme Field has the story and the final player ratings of the season!

Photo by Charlotte Patterson

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Match Report

Sunderland Women were looking to put last week’s 3-0 derby defeat to Durham Women behind them at a sunny Eppleton CW.

By contrast, the visitors Bristol City Women were aiming to finish the season as runners up to league champions Liverpool.

A good crowd of 500 arrived to see a cracking game of football, and they didn’t leave for home disappointed at full time.

Sunderland made three changes to the starting eleven that lost at Durham - Cowling, Ede and McInnes replacing Moan, Mullen and Brown.

And the Lasses started the game in determined fashion, and with a steely resolve.

After 14 minutes, a free kick from Emma Kelly proved awkward for the Bristol keeper who could only palm the effort onto the bar, and inspirational captain Keira Ramshaw reacted first to nod home the rebound.

In the 24th minute, Morgan hit a free kick towards the Sunderland goal that was blocked. Kelly had already stamped her authority on the game and was excellent all afternoon. She was tough in the tackle and precise with her passing.

Grace Ede of Sunderland AFC Women

League top scorer Abi Harrison fired a good effort across the keeper, but wide of the goal, in the 32nd minute.

Sunderland were playing some really incisive football and full back Megan Beer fired just over the crossbar. Then, just before the break Bristol hit the woodwork through the superb defender and captain Satara Murray. Shortly after, Sunderland keeper Allison Cowling pulled off a superb save, and the lasses headed into the break 1-0 ahead.

Bristol City came out for the second half determined to get back into the game - and they didn’t wait long to do so, with the hardworking Mel Johnson scoring in the 51st minute. However, two minutes later the impressive Emily Scarr fired over after a surging run through the visitors' defence.

Bristol went ahead in the 61st minute - despite an outstanding save from Cowling, the ball fell to Morgan, who fired home.

Sunderland made a double substitution on 73 minutes, with Holly Manders and Jessica Brown replacing the excellent Grace Ede and Libbi McInnes, and they proved to be inspired changes from manager Mel Reay.

Just 5 minutes later, Manders and Scarr combined down the left, and Scarr crossed for Brown to head home - much to the delight of a rapturous home crowd.

Manders had a chance to win it in injury time, an excellent effort that brought a superb save from Bristol keeper Whitehouse.

The referee blew for full time shortly after. It was to signal the end of both a highly entertaining game and a very successful season in the FA Women’s Championship.


Player Ratings

Allison Cowling: 8/10

No chance with the goals and some crucial saves.

Magan Beer: 8/10

Solid as owt at right back. Miss dependable.

Louise Griffiths: 8/10

Rock solid as ever.

Grace McCatty: 8/10

Dealt with everything that came her way.

Neve Herron: 8/10

Quality. Does she ever have a bad game?

Emma Kelly: 9/10

She was at it from the first whistle. Set the tone for others to follow.

Keira Ramshaw: 8/10

Showed some quick thinking for the goal, and looked calm and confident with her work.

Libbi McInnes: 8/10

Hardworking and was impressive.

Grace Ede: 8/10

Really really talented - I was delighted she got her start.

Abbey Joice: 8/10

Tenacious and skillful.

Emily Scarr: 8/10

Excellent performance. Had everything you want from your most advanced forward.


Substitutes

Jess Brown: 8/10

Was very good against Coventry off the bench, and again on Sunday. Very popular goal scorer.

Holly Manders: 8/10

Could count herself unlucky to be on the bench. Involved in the equaliser and has improved as the season has gone on.


Player of the Match - Emma Kelly

Magnificent.

Set the tone for the game with her hard work and her quality on the ball. Superb.

Sunderland Ladies v Durham Women - Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Stu Forster - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

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