Captain Keira Ramshaw netted a hat-trick at Stoke

A last gasp free-kick for Stoke City saw visitors Sunderland denied victory in a physical battle in the FA Women’s National League.

Emily Hutchinson put Sunderland ahead 12 minutes in but a Kelsey Richardson double, with goals in the 20th and 41 minutes, put Stoke in front. Keira Ramshaw’s first of the afternoon in the second minute of stoppage time levelled scores.

Stoke retook the lead via a 65th minute Faye McCoy penalty before two great strikes in the 70th and 83rd minutes gave Sunderland the lead and Ramshaw her hat-trick but McCoy scored a free-kick with the last kick of the game to take a point.

With Charlotte Potts departing for Canada and Maria Farrugia on international duty, Melanie Reay was forced into changes from last week’s win against Guiseley. Megan Beer and Louise Griffiths returned to the starting line-up having been unavailable last week.

Having been the brighter side early on, Sunderland took a deserved lead after 12 minutes. Hutchinson found the net with a side-foot volley after Grace McCatty redirected Ramshaw’s free-kick into the middle of the area.

Stoke would hit back quickly, in the 20th minute. Sunderland failed to clear a cross, with the ball falling kindly for Richardson to poke home.

Richardson would grab a second in the 41st minute. McCatty inadvertently headed McCoy’s free-kick across her own goal for Stoke player to finish.

Once again the lead would be short-lived. Ramshaw drilled the ball in at the near post with two minutes of first-half stoppage time played.

Despite Sunderland going close early in the second half, Stoke retook the lead. Griffiths was adjudged to have fouled Leanne Robinson in the box. McCoy scored the penalty, sending Cowling the wrong way.

But again Stoke didn’t hold their advantage for long, Ramshaw converting a free-kick with a powerfully struck shot going in at the near post.

The Sunderland skipper would go on to get her hat-trick and give her side the lead with a great half-volley seven minutes from time.

But there was another twist. McCoy netted a free-kick with the last kick of the game to snatch a point for Stoke after the referee gave the hosts a soft foul on the edge of the Sunderland area.

SCFC- Burnside, Hudson (Chipman 75’), Roberts, Hyde, Pemberton, Richardson, Hughes, Keryakoplis (McCoy 39’), Bowyer, Owen, Robinson (Hayes 75’)

Subs Not Used- Kivel, Kolbuck

SAFC- Cowling, Beer, McCatty, Griffiths, Mullen, Lambert, Ramshaw, McLaughlin, Barker (Gibson 74’), Hutchinson (Young 74’), Galloway

Subs Not Used- Stewart, Skull