Sunderland’s injury ravaged team travelled to Aston Villa for the second time in a week hoping to get the result they needed to keep their Premier League title ambitions on track. Both teams battled strongly in difficult conditions and in the end the 0-0 scoreline was a fair result. The Lady Black Cats now need to win their final match at Cardiff at the end of the month to ensure they remain champions.
It was a nervy start from both sides and the long ball became the main form of attack. The first chance fell to Sunderland as a long range effort from Kelly McDougall sailed well wide in the 10th minute. Both teams struggled to find any flow to their game due to the conditions and the poor playing surface. Another long ball from the Villa defence split the Sunderland back line but the home side failed to capitalise and the pressure passed. The first piece of good play by either side came down Sunderland left as fine play by Nicola Devine played in Sophie Williams whose fierce shot was well saved by Megan Walsh in the home goal. Moments later a Villa corner was only half cleared by the Sunderland defence and as the ball was fired back into the area a flicked header looked destined for the back of the net but Rachel Laws' quick feet saw her pull of a great save which kept the scores level. This seemed to spur Sunderland into action as Becky Salicki just failed to reach a McDougall freekick. Then a long range effort from Rachel Furness beat the keeper but went agonisingly over the bar. Sunderland continued to press and a long range shot again by Furness was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Walsh.
The second half began as the first half had ended with Sunderland pressing forward but the game was generally scrappy. A great solo effort by Robyn Chidchester signalled the first real chance of the half as she picked up the ball on the half way line and ran past several players before shooting narrowly over the bar. McDougall and Keira Ramshaw had efforts beaten away before a quick break from Villa almost gave them the lead. Scrappy play in the middle saw the home side emerge with the ball and a great forward pass took out the entire Sunderland defence as Davies blasted the ball against the bar and luckily for the visitors the rebound was headed over from 3 yards out. Again Sunderland were stirred into action and responded positively with efforts from Furness and McDougall going close before a break down the left by the tireless Williams saw Jordan Atkinson's curling effort superbly tipped over by Walsh.
Sunderland Line-up: Laws, Christon, Salicki, Greenwell, Devine, McDougall, Furness, Gutteridge, Ramshaw (Halliday), Chidchester (Atkinson), Williams
Subs: Wilson, Cauldwell, Round
Mick Mulhern spoke positively after the game: ”The squad has been stretched to the limit with injuries over recent weeks and there were a lot of positives from today's game. We were strong at the back and simply ran out of time trying to win the game. A point was probably a fair result under the circumstances.”
What are your views? Leave your comments below
Bad luck Sunderland ,looks like Leeds for the title !
This has caused a stir on my FB page as to which game they were watching and what bad conditions',? comments by Erin,Louise,Dani ,and Emma so far,.By the way Villa had injured players out also. Who won 2-1 at their place???
Lol @Roger sounds like a great debate! I can't comment as I did not see the game, I have to go by the reports :):)