Sunderland ran out comfortable winners at the academy of light tonight in a Tyne-Wear derby against Tier 4 side Newcastle United behind closed doors as they prepare for their upcoming Barclay’s Women’s Championship campaign.
Here's how @BeckyLangley4's side line-up for this evening's match at @SAFCWomen:— Newcastle United Women (@NUFCWomen) July 28, 2022
Donnelly (c), Boyes, Watt, Packham, Burt, Guy, Bailes, Ferguson, Gibson, Elson, Barker
Subs: Skelton, Robson, Spark, Wilkinson, Spraggon
The Lasses had Abby Holmes, who has returned to the club from Durham, in the side and she partnered Neve Herron at the back. Fellow new signing Tyler Dodds also started as Mel Reay’s side looked to make it two wins out of two in pre-season.
Newcastle boasted five ex-Sunderland players in their ranks with Olivia Watt, Katie Barker, and Georgia Gibson joined by youngsters Grace Boyes and Daisy Burt in their starting lineup.
Sunderland started the first half much the brighter, with Dodds giving Burt a hard time with her blistering pace and it was she who gave Sunderland the lead. RTC-graduate Burt failed to clear a through ball and Dodds was there to calmly slot home.
Newcastle almost equalised few minutes later when Gibson’s shot from the edge of the area took a deflection, but Allison Cowling made a tremendous save to keep the scored level.
Nevertheless, Sunderland continued to press and Dodds saw another effort tipped wide before Mel Reay rang the changes. Jess Brown, Grace Ede and Megan Beer all came on after half an hour, and alongside them was a trialist.
The trials had a dream start for the Lasses, scoring to make it 2-0 within seconds of coming on to the pitch after a lovely cross. It could have been more, and Sunderland saw a big penalty shout turned down just before half time when the trialist was brought down in the box but the referee waved the appeal away.
At half time, goalkeeper Claudia Moan and England youth international Libbi McInnes came on as Reay looked to give all the Lasses a good run out - and it was McInnes nearly made it three when a corner fell to her. She managed to chip the Newcastle keeper but the ball was cleared off the line.
Newcastle struggled to get the talented Barker into the game, and despite Gibson impressing, they couldn’t create many clear cut opportunities.
Sunderland did add a third when captain Keira Ramshaw struck a fierce effort that was deflected heavily beyond Donnelly into the Newcastle net.
Jess Brown saw a lot of the ball and nearly made it four after a beautiful pass from Holly Manders played her through on goal, but she fired just wide. Sunderland then had a second appeal for a penalty turned down when Katy Watson was flattened in the box, but the referee somehow didn’t give it.
Sunderland, however, completed the scoring when Brown crossed for the impressive Holmes to crash the ball in to give Sunderland the perfect start to pre-season as we count down to the River Wear derby on 21st August.
Two games played, seven goals scored and only once conceded is a great return and the Lasses meet another Scottish WPL side, Hibernian, on Sunday afternoon at the Academy of Light in what promises to be a bigger big test than the Magpies of FAWNL Division 1 North provided this evening.