Sunderland Ladies ensured they would finish top of Group One North of the Continental Cup with an impressive 1-0 win over Liverpool Ladies on Tuesday night.

Bridget Galloway’s 13th minute header proved the difference between the sides on a chilly December evening at Mariners Park.

Liverpool’s side included England internationals such as Casey Stoney, Gemma Bonner, Alex Greenwood and Siobhan Chamberlain but they couldn’t break down a determined Sunderland outfit.

Sunderland started well as Dominique Bruinenberg burst down the wing within the opening two minutes but her teasing cross destined for Galloway was picked out of the air by Chamberlain.

In the fifth minute, Liverpool created the game’s first real chance. Jess Clarke’s trickery gave her room to cross and she found Sophie Ingle but the Welsh international could only fire over.

Laura Coombs tried her luck for the visitors soon after but her effort was deflected wide before Lucy Staniforth went close at the other end. The former Liverpool midfielder spotted Chamberlain off her line and attempted a long-range effort but Chamberlain was able to backtrack and save.

With chances falling at both ends, it was Sunderland who made them as the Lady Black Cats broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. Staniforth whipped a pinpoint cross into the penalty area and Galloway’s powerful header had Chamberlain rooted to her spot.

Staniforth and Galloway created another chance just four minutes later with the latter looking to turn provider. Galloway picked out the skipper but her dipping 20-yard effort was narrowly too high.

Liverpool were seeing plenty of the ball and putting plenty of balls into the penalty area as the first half wore on but Sunderland were dealing with them well.

Clarke forced a save from Sunderland’s Rachael Laws halfway through the first half before she the Liverpool forward was denied once again 15 minutes later.

There was still time for Beth England to test Laws but the Sunderland stopper did well to hold her effort and the hosts went into the break with a slender lead.

Liverpool pushed for an equaliser in the early stages of the second half but they seemed to lack that bit of quality in the final third.

Just after the hour mark, a Caroline Weir shot was deflected into the path of substitute Natasha Harding but she was prevented by Laws.

Laws was called into action again in the 66th minute to prevent Weir before Galloway had a half chance at the other end but her effort was closed down.

The visitors continued to lift crosses into the penalty area and Sunderland seemed happy to let them.

Harding forced another save from Laws with a curling effort before Coombs’ long-range effort trickled wide.

Bonner and Weir both had further chances but in truth, Sunderland never looked overly worried and they saw the game out to claim an impressive win.

Full-time: Sunderland Ladies 1-0 Liverpool Ladies

Sunderland Ladies: Laws, Pitman (Sjoman, 56′), Stewart, Williams, Sharp, Wyne, Staniforth (c), Bruinenberg, Lambert (Ramshaw, 73′), Lipka, Galloway (Koren, 82′)

Unused Subs: Stonehouse, Joice, Brown

Liverpool Ladies: Chamberlain, Fletcher, Bonner (c), Stoney, Greenwood, Hodson (Pike, 76′), Ingle, Coombs, Clarke, Weir, England (Harding, 61′)

Unused Subs: Harris, Longhurst, Flaherty, Rodgers