Like I always say when both Durham Women and Sunderland Ladies are at home, it’s always a rush to get to both games. Today, I left Durham Women two minutes into injury time to make it to this game in time for kick-off. It kicked off about three minutes late and I maybe would have made it for kick-off even if I had stayed until the final whistle at Durham. If you notice a difference in the quality of the photos from my two games today compared to previous games, it’s because I’ve got a new phone with a better camera on. Getting a new phone was basically funded by Pentland Hills winning the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday. A couple of people who have a share in Lassana Angel (the horse I have a share on) also have a tiny share in Pentland Hills and they seemed hopefully of a big run. I took advantage of Sky Bet’s money back offer and stuck £20 on him and it returned a nice £420. Not a bad few minute’s work! This game was my 118th of the season. That puts me 13 ahead of where I was at this point last season, but it was the Scottish groundhop this time last season.
Sunderland Ladies claim impressive win over Blackburn
Sunderland Ladies became the first side to take points from Blackburn Rovers Ladies in the 2018-2019 season on Sunday afternoon with an impressive 3-0 win at Eppleton CW.
Blackburn had won all of their 15 league games of the season so far, but goals from Maria Farrugia, Niamh McLaughlin and Keira Ramshaw ensured Sunderland took all three points.
Upon kick-off, it was Blackburn who created the first chance. Jess Holbrook picked out Natasha Flint, but she could only drag wide.
Ramshaw then fired over for Sunderland, before Sunderland broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. Mollie Lambert’s through ball found Katie Barker whose effort was saved. However, Farrugia was quickest to react and she fired home to put the Lady Black Cats ahead.
Lagan Makin sliced well wide as Blackburn Rovers looked for a response, before Barker’s effort at the other end was saved by Amelia Size.
In the 21st minute, Sunderland doubled their lead. Ramshaw’s cross was cleared as far as McLaughlin who took a touch before drilling an effort into the far bottom corner from 18 yards.
Just four minutes later, Sunderland added a third. The ball was worked to Ramshaw who wrapped an effort with the outside of her foot round Size and into the net.
Again, Blackburn went in search of a response, but despite a few corners and free-kicks, they didn’t create much.
Saffron Jordan rose to meet a Holbrook cross in the 35th minute, but Allison Cowling saved Jordan’s header.
In the 35th minute, Sunderland could have scored a fourth. An attempted ball over the top hit Mollie Lambert and dropped to Ramshaw. Lambert continued her run and Ramshaw’s through ball played Lambert in. She charged towards goal and took aim from 18 yards, but Size did well to save.
Makin glanced a weak header wide late in the half for Blackburn, but it was Sunderland who went into the break with a commanding lead.
Natasha Fenton and Flint both fired harmlessly wide for Rovers early in the second half, before Farrugia curled over at the other end having been picked out by Barker.
Cowling had to be alert to prevent any danger from Fenton’s 56th minute cross for Blackburn, before Ramshaw’s dipping half volley at the other end was a comfortable save for Size.
A quiet spell then followed. Blackburn Rovers were seeing the majority of the ball, but they weren’t creating anything against a stubborn Sunderland defence.
In the 73rd minute, Charlotte Potts teasing deep free-kick dropped for Farrugia at the back post for Sunderland, but the Maltese international couldn’t guide the ball on target.
Flint dragged well wide for Blackburn seconds later, before Sunderland’s Amelia Kemp almost netted Sunderland’s fourth. The full-back took aim from a wide position a long way out, and the Blackburn ‘keeper slipped. However, she recovered in time to get back to her feet and save.
With quarter of an hour to play, Blackburn had a big chance to make a game of it. A cross bypassed everyone to find Alex Taylor at the back post, but her effort was straight at Cowling. In truth, Taylor should have done better.
Bridget Galloway and Farrugia both went close for Sunderland just inside the final 10 minutes, before Flint once again fired wide for distance.
Lauren Davies and Kayleigh McDonald both had late half chances for Blackburn, but they couldn’t grab a goal and Sunderland claimed an impressive three points.
Full-time: Sunderland Ladies 3-0 Blackburn Rovers Ladies
Next up for me is Sunderland RCA vs Whickham on Tuesday night.
Sunderland Ladies: Cowling, Kemp, McCatty, Potts, Griffiths, Lambert, Farrugia (Young, 90′), McLaughlin, Barker (Hutchinson, 64′), Ramshaw (c), Galloway
Unused subs: Stewart, Gibson, Beer
Blackburn Rovers Ladies: Size, Jukes, Shepherd (c), Stuart (McDonald, 76′), Holbrook, Davies, Fenton, Jordan, Flint, Makin (Taylor, 62′), Fletcher
Unused sub: Walsh
Admission: £4 adults, £2 concessions
Attendance: About 100
Referee: Chris Keightley