Jessica Brown’s second-half strike ensured Sunderland Ladies made the perfect start to the FA Women’s Championship season with a 1-0 win at Coventry United.
After a first period of little chances, Brown’s strike on the hour mark was enough to seal the win at the Butts Park Arena.
Mel Reay named summer signings Charlotte Potts and Emma Kelly in her starting XI in Coventry, while captain Keira Ramshaw led the line and was supported by Maria Farrugia.
It could have been the dream start for the Lasses inside five minutes, as there was big shouts for a penalty waved away by the referee.
But on the 15-minute mark, the hosts responded and would have been ahead but for a brilliant Louise Griffiths block.
It took until the stroke of half time for either side to carve an opening, and it came for the Lasses as Ramshaw almost latched onto a pass, but the ‘keeper was out to block.
Sunderland’s pressure finally paid off on the hour mark though, as Ramshaw laid on an inch-perfect pass for Brown, who composed herself before firing into the bottom left corner.
The Lasses weathered a late storm, but Caludia Moan and her defence clearing anything that came their way, to clinch a valuable three points.
Next up for Reay’s side is Blackburn Rovers at the Stadium of Light on Sunday 5 September.
Sunderland: Moan, Beer, Griffiths, Brown (Scarr 67’), McCatty, Herron, Potts, Kelly, Ramshaw, Farrugia, Joice
Subs not used: Cowling, Mullen, Hutchinson, McInnes, Manders