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Sunderland Ladies v Birmingham City Women: Barclays FA Women’s Championship

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Lasses Match Report & Ratings: Sunderland given a wake up call in a 4-0 defeat at the SoL!

Sunderland Women had an opening home game to forget with a 4-0 defeat to recently relegated Birmingham Women. Graeme Field has the story and the player ratings!

Photo by Ashley Allen - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

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Match Report

After an entertaining game against Norwich, I popped over to the Karbon Grill in the Hilton for some food and a catch up with my mate.

The lasses game was up next and we had some time to chat about the game against Norwich and the upcoming lasses game against Birmingham at 4pm.

When I got back to the ground, I was disappointed to see that there weren’t as many fans who had stopped back as I’d hoped for.

The attendance was later reported as 730.

I felt the lack of numbers who stayed and the disappointment around it may have affected the team. I felt there would have been a larger attendance after a really good performance by the lads and with it being a beautiful summer evening on a bank holiday weekend.

To the game, and manager Mel Reay switched her full backs from their usual sides, Louise Griffiths moving to the right of defence and last weekend’s player of the match, Abby Holmes slotting in at left back.

This was possibly a move that was hoped would limit the influence of the dangerous Siobhan Wilson.

Birmingham were the better side from the off. The lasses finding it hard to cope with the movement of the full time professionals of the Blues.

Harriet Scott gave Birmingham a deserved lead before half time with a well-placed volley.

The lasses were handed another blow when experienced central defender Bri Westrup was substituted at half time due to a concussion.

Reay looked to change things again on 55 minutes, bringing on the diminutive Abbey Joice and the talented Jessica Brown.

Birmingham doubled their lead on 72 minutes, after a great strike from the threatening Wilson.

The Lasses’ day was summed up by a strike that could have perhaps been blocked by the covering defender. That was pretty much game over, as we’d struggled to get going at a warm Stadium of Light.

All of this despite our best efforts. It was no surprise when the Blues made it three. Keeper Claudia Moan with a good save, but Ashley Hodson was on hand to prod home.

Birmingham then rounded off the scoring with a goal from Jamie Finn.

It wasn’t a good afternoon for Sunderland.

Was it that we just played poorly?

Did Birmingham play really well?

Or with the men’s game being prior to the lasses match with a crowd of over 37,000, dropping to just 730, did this affect the players?

I don’t know. I do know that Reay will have them ready to go in their next game, at home to Sheffield United. Haway the lasses!

Sunderland Ladies v Birmingham City Women: Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Ashley Allen - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Player Ratings

Claudia Moan 6/10 - No chance with the goals. Solid.

Louise Griffiths 6/10 - Struggled with the impressive Wilson at times. Stuck to her task in an unfamiliar position.

Grace McCatty 6/10 - Steady and did things in a tidy manner.

Brianna Westrup 6/10 - A blow to lose the experienced defender at half time.

Abby Holmes 7/10 - A good performance from a crowd favourite.

Tyler Dodds 6/10 - Some flashes of her quality. Would like to see her start on the right.

Emily Scarr 6/10 - Limited to what she could do to influence the game.

Danielle Brown 7/10 - Busy performance and a calming influence.

Emma Kelly 7/10 - I thought she did well, but often found herself outnumbered.

Nicki Gears 6/10 - Worker hard, but just not her day.

Grace Ede 6/10 - Worked hard and this will have been another good experience for her.


Substitutes

Megan Beer 6/10 - Stuck to it in a half where Birmingham dominated.

Abbey Joice 6/10 - Busy but couldn’t a foothold in the game.

Jessica Brown 6/10 - Flashes of her quality, but it wasn’t to be on the day.

Holly Manders 6/10 - Looked like she had a point to prove. Worked hard.


Player of the Match - Emma Kelly

Worked hard. Didn’t let her head drop. Showed what her former side was missing, despite their obvious quality in that area of the field.

Durham v Sunderland: Barclays FA Women’s Championship Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

OPINION!

Matchday Musings: You can’t bloody win ‘em all... but at least we were entertained!

REPORT & PLAYER RATINGS!

Andy’s Player Ratings: Sunderland 0-0 Preston North End - Stalemate at the SoL for the Lads

MATCH PREVIEWS!

Match Preview: Sunderland v Preston North End - all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

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