Black Cats stay top of Women's Premier League after win at Barnet.
The FA Women's Premier League
Sunday 6 November 2011
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Sunderland produced a commanding 4-1 away with at Barnet with two goals from leading scorer Beth Mead to go top of The FA Women’s Premier League.
Barnet’s Vicky Boardman equalised Kelly McDougal’s early penalty opener to leave the scores tied 1-1 at half-time but title-chasing Sunderland took control after the break.
Mead scored after 54 and 81 minutes to make it 12 for the season before Kiera Ramshaw added a goal in injury time to secure a fine victory. But Sunderland also had goalkeeper Rachel Laws to tank after she denied Cheryl Williams with a brilliant save when the score was only 2-1.
The only disappointment for the visiting side was the sight of captain Steph Bannon being carried off injured in the second half.
The result leaves Sunderland on 22 points from ten games, the same as second-placed Leeds who won 1-0 at third-placed Coventry - who started the weekend in first place and go to Sunderland next weekend - with a 56th minute goal from Hayley Sharp. It could have been different for Coventry, however, had they not missed a first half penalty.
Katy Male’s penalty hit the right-hand post and bounced back into play. Though she followed the miss by putting the ball into the net she was the only player to have touched the ball, which was ruled as a double play of the ball and Leeds were awarded a free kick instead.
Leeds then recovered well to dominate the second half, scoring through Sharp and hitting the bar through Emma Johnson.
“Today was a performance full of character and grit,” said Leeds manager Chris Welburn. “We were resolute in our defending and full of energy right throughout the team. I am really pleased to pick up the three points and keep our 100 per cent away record going and stretch it to five wins on the road.
"We must now kick on and as always look to set the highest standards we can each week.”
Meanwhile, Charlton came from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Reading. Nicola Watts put Reading ahead in the 63rd minute but Bailus replied just a minute later for the hosts. And Nottingham Forest were held to a goalless draw at home to Cardiff Ladies.