Ladies Report: Lasses lead league after Wearside win

Sunderland AFC Ladies 2-0 Blackburn Rovers Ladies

Sunderland Ladies rose to the summit of the FA Women's Championship on Sunday after carving out a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at the Stadium of Light.

Neve Herron and Emily Scarr struck the crucial goals in the first half to settle the contest, which makes it two wins from two and no goals conceded for Mel Reay's side.

Reay had to shuffle her options slightly prior to the contest, with captain Keira Ramshaw undergoing a knee operation in the week following an injury picked up in the season opener.

The Lasses flew from the blocks, showing apparent momentum from last weekend's opening 1-0 victory at Coventry United, and netted the first just seven minutes in when Herron met Charlotte Potts' set-piece delivery from the right to head past Alexandra Brooks in front of 749 fans on Wearside.

Setting the early pace, Sunderland continued the pressure and Brooks then denied midfielder Herron once more, before Maria Farrugia forced another save.

But just 16 minutes in, the lead was doubled. Scarr poached onto a defensive mistake on Blackburn's left-hand side and ran through on goal, slotting a neat finish home to make it two and place the Lasses firmly in the driving seat.

Before the break, Farrugia tested Brooks again whilst Jessica Brown had the better of Hannah Coan down the right channel, Coan receiving a booking and later being substituted.

A series of corners was the most the Lancashire visitors could muster before half-time, whilst afterwards they came very close to halving the deficit when a looping cross-shot came back off the post following Claudia Moan's touch on the ball, before Herron blocked a close-range rebound.

Annabel Blanchard forced Moan to make a solid save down low to her left as Blackburn chipped away, with stand-in skipper Emma Kelly and Abbey Joice taking aim at the other end.

Reay's side managed the game exceptionally well as it simmered to a close, with six points out of six now on the board in a terrific start - Crystal Palace await at Selhurst Park next Sunday.

SUNDERLAND AFC LADIES: Moan; Beer, McCatty, Potts, Griffiths; Brown (Mullen 90+3'), Kelly (c), Herron, Farrugia (Blakey 90+2'), Joice; Scarr (Manders 75').

Subs not used: Cowling, Hutchinson.

Attendance: 749


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