Report: SAFC Women 4-3 Lewes Women

A late Jenna Dear double deep into added time secured a dramatic 4-3 victory for Sunderland Women against Lewes Women in the Barclays Women’s Championship.


In a breath-taking seven-goal thriller that also saw Emily Scarr and Brianna Westrup score for Sunderland. While the visitors replied through Lois Heuchan, a Hollie Olding penalty and Reanna Blades.


Mel Reay shuffled her pack and made two changes with Dear and Grace Ede returning to the Lasses’ starting XI. Katie Kitching missed out due to international commitments while Louise Griffiths started her three-game suspension.


Lewes took an early lead inside the first three minutes, Heuchan's deflected free-kick found Claudia Moan’s far post after evading several bodies inside the host's 18-yard box.


The Lasses pulled level instantly on five minutes when Natasha Fenton’s drifted free-kick picked out an unmarked Scarr at the back post – the striker expertly executed her finish with a well-taken volley past Sophie Whitehouse.


Captain Westrup flipped the game on its head on 13 minutes when she powerfully nodded Fenton’s free-kick past a helpless Whitehouse.


Scarr was in the mood for more and came close to notching her second if it wasn’t for the palm of Whitehouse after connecting with Jessica Brown’s inch-perfect cross from the right-hand side.


The visitors equalised from the spot on 30 minutes, Olding sending Moan the wrong way after Brown was adjudged to have held Sarah Brasero-Carreira inside the penalty area.


The Black Cats applied pressure from the restarted and came within a whisker of regaining the lead when Dear's riffled effort forced Whitehouse into a splendid full stretch save.


In a frantic ending to the first half, the returning Ede and Dear exchanged passes down the left-hand side with the former skilfully drifting past her opponent inside the danger area before dragging the ball back for Dear who stroked her attempt just wide.


Fenton almost put Sunderland ahead again from range inside first-half stoppage time, the midfielder’s 30-yard free kick was heading goal-bound until a strong hand from Whitehouse tipped the ball around her post for a corner.


After the interval, the match turned scrappy, with both sides struggling to create clear-cut opportunities inside their opponent's final third of the pitch.


Midway through the second half Amelia Hazard created the visitor's first chance, but the defender blazed her attempt from a tight angle over Moan’s crossbar.


Lewes regained the lead on 72 minutes when Blades created space down the right before drilling her cross past Moan at her near post.


The Lasses continued to push forward in search of a late leveller and their efforts were rewarded on 90+5 minutes when Dear thrashed home an edge of the box thunderbolt.


The midfielder was at it again sixty seconds later, Dear this time coolly dispatching her low and hard strike into Whitehouse’s bottom left hand corner to send Eppleton wild and claim all three-points for Mel Reay’s title challenging side.


The Lasses are back in action at the beginning of March when they welcome Southampton Women to Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground. 


SAFC Women: Moan, Brown, Westrup © Goddard, Ede, Rouse (Ejupi 80’), Dear, Fenton, Jones (Watson 68’), McAteer (McInnes 80’), Scarr.


Subs not used: Borthwick, Beer, McCatty, Corbyn.

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