The Lasses have made the perilous journey south, along a treacherous road called the M1, where the locals speak with funny accents and the names of bread rolls change with alarming frequency. Indeed, even Frodo might shudder at the thought of such a journey!
Nevertheless, Sunderland fans are on the way to watch our Lasses hopefully continue their good run of form against Reading on Sunday (12:00pm).
The Royals, despite arguably playing the best football seen at Eppleton this season, are languishing in ninth place with only two wins to their name.
Unfortunately, with the club’s owners being less than forthcoming with investment, which is affecting both their men’s and women’s teams, performances have been poor.
Reading have also lost a number of players this January with Troelsgaard, Gregory, Kite and Tuson all departing. Their last league win was against Lewes in October, and they made additions to the squad in January, with teenagers Jessie Stapleton and Keira Flannery both joining from West Ham.
The Lasses have scored more goals and conceded fewer than Reading over the course of the season, so based on current form, this ought to be a routine victory.
However, despite the many reasons we should expect a win, I believe that Reading still posed the biggest test of our defence so far.
We adjusted well in our last game against them, soaking up their attacks in the first half before cutting through them with pacy counter attacking football later on. The question is whether this side has now adjusted to this league, and will January’s turnover give them a new opportunity to express themselves?
Sunderland, meanwhile, are in a good place, having progressed in the Conti Cup following the FA’s consultation with an independent tribunal after Aston Villa’s Noelle Maritz’s substitution.
The team looks strong, although no January signings were made, so the main priority will be for our coaching staff to continue pressing for wins whilst balancing the load and avoiding any further injuries.
Mary Corbyn has proven herself to be a useful addition to the squad, and she might well make more appearances for the Lasses in between squad rotations and Katie Kitching’s international duty with New Zealand.
Haway the Lasses!