University of Sheffield 2nd’s 7 – 1 Sunderland
Sunderland went in to the fixture looking to build on the point against Leeds last week. However they succumbed to a heavy defeat in Sheffield.
The home side dominated the first half and were helped by strong winds in their favour. It took Sheffield six minutes to open the scoring and by the 10th they had doubled their lead through a corner.
Sunderland had two half chances, that fell for in-form Amy Woods. But it was Sheffield who extended their lead through a counter attack.
Fortune favoured Sheffield as a corner was caught by the wind, and floated in over goalkeeper Emma Rowley, to make it 4-0.
Rowley stayed alert to make several good saves before Abigail Roche took over in goal at half time.
Shortly after the break, Toni Deacon had to make a great last ditch challenge to deny the home side, but moments later Sheffield battled through the Sunderland defence, before squaring it for a simple finish six-yards-out.
Sunderland battled back without finding the net. First a corner led to a goal line clearance and then Rowley beat the keeper with a chip, but only found the post.
Mid-way through the half, Sheffield benefited from a long ball that keeper Roche could not hold on to while under pressure from opposition striker, who had a simple tap-in.
However, there was something to celebrate for Sunderland as defender Connie Panayi scored a direct free-kick, from 25 yards.
The final few minutes were box to box as Sunderland looked to build on their first goal. But it was Sheffield who wrapped up the scoring with a corner in added time, completing their rout.
Sunderland struggled to play on a grass pitch for the first time this season, after adapting to Silkworth’s 3-G surface.
The conditions of the first half played against them and the damage was already done by half time.
A great goal from Panayi will unfortunately be missed at the end of the season, as they will want to put this result behind them.
“The first half was tough for us as the wind played a big factor in regards to the goals they scored,” Rowley said after the game.
“The second half was a big improvement and the goal gave us a boost. If we had played the whole game, the way we played the last 20 minutes the result would have been different.”
Emma Rowley, Sam Minnis, Connie Panayi, Natalie Jackson, Christina Simms, Emily Neal(C), Toni Deacon, Mel Allon, Becky Gibson, Devon Robinson, Amy Wood. Subs: Abigail Roche, Georgia Chape.