FAWNL Northern Premier Division Round-up: Black Cats remain unbeaten

Photo: twitter.com/AdamReapa

Six games were due to be played at the weekend until FC Rain intervened, holding the division to a 3-3 draw. Frustration for everyone involved, but especially Burnley who last played a league match over 3 weeks ago.

Of those that survived the weather, current league leaders Sunderland travelled to Forest, Huddersfield hosted The Rams and Stoke made the trip to Boro.

Black Cats remain unbeaten

Two in-form sides met when Sunderland travelled to the Midlands to face Andy Cook’s Nottingham Forest.

In terrible conditions at Eastwood, Forest took the lead after only eight minutes, Precious Hamilton finding the net for the eleventh time this season to give the hosts the lead.

However, the lead lasted less than ten minutes as Grace McCatty’s effort was deflected past Aguirre following a corner to restore parity.

A quarter of an hour later and the turnaround was complete when a spectacular 25-yard effort from Barker found the net to give Mei Reay’s side the lead after 30 minutes.

Further chances were exchanged, with both teams failing to find the net again until the 79th minute when in-form Bridget Galloway hit the target, curling an effort from the edge of the box into the top corner to give the Black Cats a two-goal cushion.

It proved to be too much for Forest who were unable to get back into the game.

The result means Sunderland remain top of the league with 16 points after 6 games, a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough the only blemish on their otherwise perfect record.

While Forest currently occupy 7th place after their 3 game winning streak was brought to an end. It has been a tough run of fixtures for The Reds having played the top 3 sides in their last five matches.

Nottingham Forest 1-3 Sunderland

Attendance: 278

Stoke maintain pressure at the top

Stoke headed to the North East hoping to make it three wins in a row against a Boro side looking to bounce back after a series of defeats.

An onslaught of rain could have easily claimed another fixture, but full credit to Middlesbrough who arranged a late change of venue to enable the game to take place.

Kelsey Richardson provided the perfect start for the visitors after just four minutes, a precision strike from 25 yards nestling into the top corner to give Stoke the lead.

Chances fell to Stoke’s Tanisha Smith and Boro’s Eleanor Dale during the first half, but both ‘keepers were equal to their efforts to keep the score 0-1 at the interval.

The game recommenced, and once again the ‘keepers were more than holding their own, Abby Hunt was first denied by Laura Wareham after being put through on goal, followed by a smart save from Charlotte Clarke stop Emily Scarr’s effort from drawing Middlesbrough level.

Stoke extended their lead in the 78th minute courtesy of a Hollie Gibson free kick. Gibson demonstrating great technique to evade the wall and find the bottom corner.

Three minutes later and Richardson ended the game as a contest, scoring her second, and Stoke’s third of the game. A fine team move finished calmly past Wareham.

Emily Scarr scored a late consultation goal for the hosts, but with a minute remaining on the clock, it wasn’t enough to change the outcome.

The result sees Stoke secure their third win on the bounce to apply pressure at the top of the table, while setting up an all-important clash with league leaders Sunderland on Sunday.

Contrasting fortunes as Boro are compounded to a fourth straight defeat after a promising start to the season.

Middlesbrough 1-3 Stoke City

Attendance: 30

Terriers bounce back

Despite defeats for both teams last time out, Derby came into the game with a good away record having all three of their last games on the road, while the Terriers’ home record was just as good, with league leaders Sunderland inflicting their only loss on home soil.

Ellie Gilliatt gave Derby an early lead after her effort bested Lauren Joyce to find the roof of the net.

Huddersfield drew level just before the half hour mark through Ellie White’s clever flick inside the six yard box.

Laura Elford completed the turnaround three minutes later, lobbing Leah Kellogg from distance to give The Terriers the lead heading into the break.

Huddersfield doubled their lead in the 67th minute, captain Kate Mallin demonstrating great composure to round the ‘keeper before finishing neatly.

Substitute Moniquie Watson pulled one back for Derby, but any momentum was quickly quashed minutes later, Mallin once again the scorer for The Terriers in the 72nd minute.

Kate Mallin completed her hat trick and put the result beyond doubt with just over 5 minutes remaining, firing low into the corner to help the Yorkshire side secure all 3 points.

A pleasing win for Huddersfield, and an equally disappointing result for the Ewe Rams who have been very honest with the assessment of the game.

With no positional changes in the table, Derby remain 6th, while Huddersfield occupy 3rd place just behind Stoke and Sunderland who are due to play at the weekend.

Huddersfield Town 5-2 Derby County

Attendance: 137

How things stand

FAWNL Northern Premier Division Round-up: Top cats

With a number of teams either involved in cup ties or not scheduled to play, only three games took place in the Southern Premier on Sunday; Sunderland travelled to Huddersfield, Middlesbrough and Derby both looked to close the gap on the top 3, while Stoke looked to return to winning ways when they visited Loughborough University Stadium to face Foxes.

Sunderland come from behind to go top.

The big one.

The Black Cats travelled to Huddersfield in a game that pitted two sides, who could only be separated by goals scored at the top of the table, against one another.

Huddersfield made the perfect start. With only 3 minutes on the clock, Ellie White gave the Terriers an early lead, capitalising after Sunderland failed to clear.

However, Huddersfield was unable to build on their fantastic start, and the visitors looked more likely to score next. Galloway, who had already found the net in every game this season, tested Olivia Clark in the Huddersfield goal after 19 minutes.

Despite pressure and chances, it took until the 46th minute for Sunderland to restore parity, captain Keira Ramshaw taking advantage of a handling error to draw level.

Katie Barker and Grace McCatty both scored within three minutes to complete the comeback and give the Black Cats a two-goal cushion with 20 minutes remaining.

Bridget Galloway scored her eighth goal of a season, rounding off a fantastic second-half performance by Sunderland, and ended the game as a contest in the 80th minute.

The result sees Sunderland summit the table having taken 13 from a possible 15 points. Huddersfield fall to second place, with Burnley sitting in third with 10 points and a game in hand over both teams above them.

Huddersfield Town 1-4 Sunderland

Attendance: 86

Rams raid North East to move third.

Both sides came into the game looking to bounce back from defeats and, with a number of teams around them not in league action, exert pressure on the teams currently above them in the table.

Derby started the more positive side, forcing saves from Boro ‘keeper Sammy Leigh, before breaking the deadlock after 15 minutes, Sophie Domingo firing into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to give the visitors a deserved lead.

The Rams thought they had doubled their lead after 35 minutes but was adjudged to have been offside.

Tyler Dodds drew the hosts level just before the interval, an unfortunate Kellogg spilling a routine catch to allow the Boro winger to score.

An hour into the contest and hosts almost reversed their fortunes to take the lead following a quick break, Dodds’ effort forcing a fine fingertip save from Kellogg.

Derby restored their lead with less than 15 minutes remaining, a ball into the box found Rai, whose cross was met by Hannah Keryakoplis to score her sixth goal of the season.

The contest was settled late on after Emma Brown turned the ball into her own net giving Derby a two-goal advantage.

The result sees Derby bounce back from defeat to move up to fourth, while Boro fall two places to sixth after back-to-back home defeats.

Middlesbrough 1-3 Derby County

Attendance: 82

Hall secures points for Potters.

Foxes started the season an emphatic 3-7 win which saw them top the table, but with no wins and only one goal since – while results may not be indicative of performances – they are on a bad run and currently sit 10th. Their opposition, Stoke, has also experienced a blip recently after back-to-back league defeats, a disappointing setback after taking maximum points from their opening two games.

There was some nice play from both sides, but neither was able to break the deadlock in a half that saw very few genuine goal-scoring opportunities.

Within minutes of the restart the visitors took the lead, a fluid passing move culminated with a Kelsey Richardson defence-splitting through ball to Ali Hall, who showed great composure to slot it past Amy Burle.

Familiar patterns soon returned, with both sides showing intent and having their moments, but ultimately unable to carve out any clear cut chances; defenders and keepers once again coming out on top or forcing shots from distance.

Abby Hunt combined with Smith late on to create an opportunity just inside the box, possibly the best chance of the game other than the goal, but Hunt was leaning back as she struck the ball and fired over.

Shortly after, Knight almost benefited from a high press.

A hard fought win for Stoke sees them return to winning ways, while Foxes suffered a fourth consecutive league defeat.

Loughborough Foxes 0-1 Stoke City

Attendance: N/A

As things stand.