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Sunderland clinch the WSL 2 title at The Den

27 October 2014

Millwall Lionesses 0 Sunderland Ladies 4

Three second-half goals saw Sunderland Ladies became the inaugural WSL 2 Champions with a 4-0 win against Millwall Lionesses at The Den.

Sunderland went into the game knowing that a win would secure the title, although Doncaster Belles were waiting to pounce should the Black Cats slip up at the final hurdle.

Kelly McDougall settled the visitors nerves with a first-half strike before efforts from Rachel Furness, Keira Ramshaw and Abbey Joice put the result beyond doubt.

The match got off to a frantic start with plenty of chances at either end. Lillie Billson and Lily Agg both went close for the hosts, while Ramshaw saw a shot well saved by Lionesses keeper Sarah Quantrill.

Sunderland thought they had taken the lead on nine minutes when Abby Holmes headed into the net, however the referee spotted a foul in the build-up and awarded a free-kick to Millwall.

The visitors made the breakthrough after 17 minutes with a breathtaking 25-yard piledriver from McDougall into the keeper’s top right corner.

Sunderland continued to enjoy the better of the openings as the half progressed, but some resolute defending by Millwall kept their illustrious opponents at bay

The Black Cats emerged refreshed after the interval and instantly looked to extend their lead, testing the Millwall defence with some relentless attacking play in the second-half.

First Lionesses skipper Naomi Cole did well to block a goalbound effort from McDougall before Quantrill pulled off a stunning save to deny England forward Beth Mead a certain goal.

However, there was nothing the Lionesses keeper could do to keep out Furness’ 30-yard strike on the hour mark, but the ball crashed against the bar and away to safety.

Sunderland continued to keep the pressure on and were finally rewarded after 64 minutes when Furness arrived unmarked at the far post to head home their second.

Moments later  Ramshaw made it three with a neatly executed drop volley into the far corner and Joice put Sunderland 4-0 up in the 67th minute, collecting Mead’s pass before rifling into the roof of the net.

Lily Agg had a couple of chances to reduce the deficit late in the game for Millwall but it was to be Sunderland’s day, with the final whistle sparking wild celebrations, both in the stands and on the pitch.

Millwall Lionesses: Quantrill, Strugnell, Davies, Cole, Mackie, Maple, Sherwood, Billson, Ali, Cowan, Agg. Sub not used: Gibbs.

Sunderland: Laws, Holmes, Greenwell, Furness (Gutteridge, 73mins), Bannon, Ramshaw, M’Dougall, Mead, Joice, Williams (Bass, 87mins), Sharp
Subs not used: Alderson, Wilson, Kelly, Beer.

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