Sunderland Women shook off any doubts of a downturn in form with a comprehensive victory against fourth tier Durham Cestria in the Women’s FA Cup third round.
Liz Ejupi opened the scoring after five minutes and Brianna Westrup doubled it 10 minutes later. Goals from Katie Kitching and Mary McAteer in the last 10 minutes of the first half had the Black Cats four up at the break.
Jenna Dear added a fifth seven minutes into the second half. Kitching completed a brace just before the hour mark and Westrup completed her brace two minutes before the end.
The emphatic win ends a run of three winless games for the Black Cats and means they will at least equal their run in last season’s competition when they lost in the fourth round to Manchester United.
Ejupi capitalised on some poor defensive play and was threaded clean through into the box, calmly guiding the ball into the bottom right corner past Anna King between the sticks.
Sunderland doubled their lead after some wonderful play from Mollie Rouse and Mary McAteer won a corner. It was cleared, but Sunderland recycled well getting it back into the box. King came out and fumbled the cross, leaving captain Westrup free to lift the ball into the net.
Kitching provided the third of the afternoon turning in a flashing cross to the bottom left corner of the net.
Having missed a handful of chances across the first half, McAteer finally found the net to give Sunderland a four-goal advantage at half-time. She was quick to meet a rebound off King and found the net to put the hosts out of sight.
McAteer turned provider for the fifth, rolling the ball across the six-yard-box for an obliging Dear to tap in at the far post.
Kitching wrapped up her brace with a sublime freekick into the top left corner from an acute angle on the left side of the box. Sunderland skipper Westrup also grabbed a brace after meeting a knock down from a ball from the right channel to push a shot into the bottom right corner.
Sunderland progress into the Fourth Round of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup and could be set up with a spectacular Tyne-Wear derby after Newcastle Women beat Stoke 5-0 to progress too.