SAFC Women were defeated in an eventful and close encounter at Eppleton as Charlton Women took the three points back to London.
Emily Scarr gave the Lasses a lead in the 27th minute, with Charlton’s Ella Rutherford equalising 63 minutes in.
A 78th minute goal from Emma Kelly put Mel Reay’s side in front again, but the visitors responded one minute later through Keira Skeels, and claimed a 92nd minute winner through Elisha N’Dow.
Sunderland started strongly in possession, controlling the game in the first half.
Two minutes in, a Sunderland corner was met by the head of Brianna Westrup, but her chance was blocked just in front of goal.
The Lasses had a flurry of chances 15 minutes in, peppering the Charlton box with chances, but the Addicks blocked each one and managed to deal with the Sunderland threat.
Scarr gave Sunderland the lead after great hold-up play in the box from Abbey Joice to wait patiently for the right pass, picking out the former whose shot nestled in the bottom corner.
The Sunderland goal scorer almost doubled the lead early in the second half, crashing a brilliant strike off the bar from distance.
Charlton’s first goal came about from a dubiously given corner as Kelly seemed to keep the ball in, but the linesman gave the set-piece to the away side, with Rutherford heading home the equaliser.
Kelly put the Lasses in front after her shot hit off the post and found its way past the ‘keeper.
The visitors responded instantly with a goal from Keira Skeels, with her shot from range taking a wicked deflection past Claudia Moan to make it 2-2.
A chaotic period of the game continued as Abby Holmes was dismissed for a second yellow card of the game, with the Lasses down to 10 players for the last 10 minutes.
Karen Hill’s side scored another header, this time through N’Dow, to go home with the spoils.
The Lasses have a break from league action now as they prepare for their first Conti Cup game next week against Liverpool at Eppleton.
SAFC WOMEN: Moan, Holmes, McCatty, Westrup, Griffiths, Herron (J. Brown 70’), D. Brown, Kelly ©, Joice (Watson 86’), Dodds (Gears 70’), Scarr (Manders 86’).
Subs not used: Cowling, McInnes, Mullen, Beer, Ramshaw.