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Sunderland 5-3 Durham: Hosts win thrilling River Wear derby
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Rebecca Johnson, PA
Press Association
Emily Scarr struck the opener for Sunderland (Will Matthews/PA)
Emily Scarr struck the opener for Sunderland (Will Matthews/PA)

Sunderland continued their quest for promotion with a thrilling 5-3 victory against local rivals Durham in the Women’s Championship.

A thrilling River Wear derby saw Sunderland take control through goals from Emily Scarr and Mary McAteer, but the visitors equalised with two Mollie Lambert efforts either side of the break.

McAteer restored the Black Cats’ advantage before Beth Hepple levelled again with a brilliant free-kick, but Jenna Dear put the hosts ahead and Katy Watson made the game safe.

The result left Sunderland one point clear at the top of the table with three games to go while Durham remained in a relegation battle.

Sunderland threatened in the early stages, but their best chance came when McAteer’s rebounded effort from a free-kick forced Durham captain Sarah Wilson into an excellent goal-saving header off the line.

Durham grew into the game and had their first real chance from Saoirse Noonan on the edge of the box but Claudia Moan made the save before being called into action again to deny Lambert.

The Black Cats found the opener in the 32nd minute when Durham were unable to clear their lines from McAteer’s cross and Scarr pounced on the loose ball, smashing it into the top left corner.

McAteer got on the scoresheet four minutes later after guiding Dear’s cross into the bottom corner to double Sunderland’s lead, but Durham pulled one back in the 40th minute when Lambert capitalised on a loose ball to roll it home.

Durham started the second half with far more energy and earned their reward with an equaliser in the 57th minute after a fantastic ball threaded through to Lambert, who coolly dispatched it into the bottom corner.

McAteer earned her second to put the Black Cats in front 10 minutes later with a brilliant piece of solo control in the box before blasting the ball into the far top corner, but Hepple levelled again in the 72nd minute with a magnificent free-kick which dipped perfectly in the top left corner.

Sunderland instantly responded three minutes later when Dear fired the ball into the bottom left corner from just outside of the box and substitute Watson wrapped the game up in the 78th minute after cutting in from the right to find the far corner.


Sunderland AFC LadiesDurham Women FC
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