Sunderland v City Ladies: Match report
- 18 March 2013 10:53
- Posted by @NieldyMCFC / Words by @Footykev
City Ladies headed to the North East to face Champions Sunderland in the FA Cup Fifth Round.
With some other ties around the country falling foul of the weather this contest had no such problems in one of the parts of the country least affected by the weather.
Following on from the disappointing League Cup exit two weeks ago, the Blues had a determined look about them as they sought to repeat the performance and the scoreline they were so cruelly denied in early January after the game was abandoned with City leading 0-1.
City started brightly in the opening exchanges trying to take the game to Black Cats early on. Sunderland seemed happy to soak up the pressure and looked to hit on the break. The opening ten minutes did not yield a single shot on either goal with much of the game being played out in midfield.
City had opportunities to break through early on but were found wanting when a killer pass was needed to get in behind Sunderland. This was to be the theme of City's afternoon on Wearside.
The first real opportunity of the game fell to the hosts. Breaking from a City attack, Mead took the ball down the left and forced a corner from the resulting shot. It was two minutes later when Joice picked up a loose City pass and struck at goal, her shot beat Worrall, but not the upright.
On the half hour, City's Johnston found herself free on the left and whipped in a delightful cross which Sunderland struggled to deal with; cannoning off a central defender and rolling agonisingly wide of the post for a corner. From the resulting set piece City were denied again, the corner cleared the defence, found Lindsay Savage who in turn found Becky Lee on the edge of the box, a well struck shot was blocked by the Black Cats and found Danby who could only fire the rebound over.
City continued to hold firm against the Champions, another opportunity fell to Beth Mead in the 34th minute, but Worrall spread herself well in the area to save point blank from the strikers shot.
Six minutes before half time, a Williams cross found the diving head of Mead, this time the England Under 19 striker didn't miss and put Sunderland in front.
The home side made it two before the break when winger Sophie Williams was found at the left hand corner of the 18 yard box, hitting a rasping drive that nearly took the net with it.
The next goal after half time proved to be the most important, just six minutes after the restart a cross delivered into the box was initially cleared, however the knock down was picked up quickest by Mead who couldn't miss from three yards out. This was a real blow to City's hopes of a fight back in the second half.
The Cup tie was all but over four minutes later when a freekick given in City's half on the edge of the centre circle was flighted in by Greenwell. The ball somehow made it through unchallenged and Sunderland Captain Stephanie Bannon got the slightest of touches to steer it past Worrall for the fourth.
Late City chances fell to Buffel who hit the bar and Harding who had a shot blocked following a Johnston effort which was cleared off the line.
Following the full time whistle Manager Leigh Wood gave his thoughts on the result:
"Two ten minutes spells either side of half time really cost us today. We dropped our concentration levels and Sunderland really punished us for it. Overall our passing and movement was poor, Sunderland deserved to go through and we wish them all the best in the next round".
Sunderland XI: Laws, Beer, Bannon, Wilson, Greenwell, McFadden (McDougall), Furness (Sutcliffe), Joice, Ramshaw, Williams (Atkinson), Mead
Subs not used: Alderson, Salicki, Caldwell
CITY LADIES XI: Worrall, Middleton, Harding, Lee (Jordan), McManus (McLellan), Bayley, Buffel, Johnston, Savage (c), Nightingale, Danby (Young)
Subs: McLellan, Jordan, Young