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London Bees v Brighton and Hove Albion Women - FA Women’s Continental League Cup

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Lasses Match Preview: Sunderland take on Nottingham Forest in final pre-season friendly

Sunderland can end their pre-season on a high in front of over a 1,000 people at Eppleton today and give them a taste for what is to come this season.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

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Sunday 14th August 2022

Sunderland Women v Nottingham Forest

Pre-season Friendly - 2pm Kick off

Eppleton Colliery Welfare - The Hetton Centre, Welfare Rd, Hetton-le-Hole, Houghton le Spring DH5 9NA

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are free to all fans for this friendly but must be obtained through the SAFC website in advance.

Coverage: There will be updates on Twitter via @SAFCWomen and we’ll be sharing photos, videos and comments on the game throughout via the @RokerReport account

Travel: Take the number 55 bus from Sunderland Interchange (Stand K) to Houghton Road-Caroline Street, Hetton. Children can travel to the game on the bus for free.

Podcast: Our twitter live spaces will be on Monday night, 8.30-9.30pm

The Build-Up...

Signing Mel Reay and Steph Libbey to new full time contracts? Tick.

New signings? Tick.

Keeping the same core team? Tick.

Four out four pre-season friendly wins? We will have to wait and find out this Sunday, as Sunderland Women look to round off their positive pre-season campaign with a win in their final game against Nottingham Forest.

It’s been two years since the sides last played against each other, with Sunderland earning promotion to the Barclay’s Championship just before the start of the 21/22 season and Forest plying their trade in the third division.

With the match set to be played in front of a home crowd of over 1,000 people, Sunderland will be well supported as pre-season draws to a close and the focus can then turn to the very tasty opening league match against Durham Women on the 21st August, which is nearing a sell-out crowd at Maiden Castle

It is the perfect opportunity for those who are unfamiliar with the women’s team to see them in action, particularly after England’s Women’s Euro triumph. And perhaps we can see Sunderland put on an entertaining display for the fans, showing them something akin to the 8-0 thrashing they gave Forest a few years back...

The Lasses...

Heading into this final pre-season game, the Lasses have been in tremendous form - winning three from three and scoring ten over the summer. With wins over Hibernian, Motherwell and local rivals Newcastle, Sunderland are firmly in the ascendency as they prepare for the upcoming Barclays Championship season.

So far Sunderland’s new signings. Tyler Dodds, Nicki Gears, Danielle Brown and Abbey Holmes have all had an immediate and noticeable impact on the team, with all three getting on the scoresheet across the three friendlies; Gears notching two, Holmes, Dodds and Brown bagging one each.

New addition Brianna Westrup will so be in contention for a place in the starting lineup this afternoon as she looks to bring her quality and experience to bear on the Women’s Championship.

Sunderland v Sheffield United: FA Women’s Championship Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Opponents...

Nottingham Forest head into this final friendly fixture in mixed form, however they have played some tough opposition in the form of Women’s Super League side Liverpool and Championships sides Sheffield United and Birmingham before beating against fourth tier side, Newcastle, in a 4-0 drubbing at Eastwood.

Despite also being on the receiving end of a walloping in a 6-0 loss to Liverpool, Forest gave a good account of themselves in the games against Sheffield, losing 2-1 and in a 2-2 draw with Birmingham City.

Last season, Forest finished fifth out of 13 with 44 points - 16 points from top, only conceding 17 times (second best in the league), and keeping 12 clean sheets along the way.

Defender Lyndsey Harkin is key to their stinginess at the back, with her old fashioned central defender style, aerial dominance and strength in the tackle. Captain fantastic and a leader on the pitch, Harkin will certainly provide Sunderland with some challenges at the back as they look to break through.

Elsewhere, the Lasses will need to keep an eye on talented midfielder Mai Moncaster, who is an incredibly skilled and pacy player, as well as good finisher. American Naomi Powell will also be one to watch and is capable of popping up in dangerous areas to create attacking opportunities.

Nottingham Forest Ladies v Manchester City Women - Vitality Women’s FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Head to head...

(All venues, all competitions, including friendlies)

Played - 10

Sunderland Wins - 7

Draws - 1

Nottingham Wins - 2

Sunderland Goals - 33

Nottingham Goals - 8

Pre-Season Friendly Form...

Sunderland: WWW

Nottingham: LDLW

Last time out...

Sunderland Women 1 - 0 Nottingham Forest Women

Sunday 1st November 2020

Played for both...

Iris Achterhof

A familiar face may well feature for our opponents today, after Iris Achterhof was announced as a new signing for Forest earlier this month.

The former Durham and Sunderland forward became manager Andy Cook’s second addition of the summer and will be looking to get back to match fitness after taking a brief hiatus from football to concentrate on her university degree and follow other passions.

So could Achterhof’s first minutes come against her former club? We will have to wait and find out.


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