Spoils shared as Staniforth earns Sunderland a point
Goal from corner levels clash with Everton after Turner had opened the scoring in the 1-1 draw
FA WSL 1 match
19:00, Wednesday 28 March 2018
Sunderland AFC Ladies Goal Scorers: Staniforth 60'
Everton Ladies FC Goal Scorers: Turner 47'
Sunderland and Everton shared the spoils in a close-fought contest at Mariners Park which ended 1-1.
After neither side seriously threatened in the opening 45 minutes, Everton raced into a second half lead as Danielle Turner powered past Rachael Laws.
But the hosts rallied and earned themselves a point thanks to Lucy Staniforth's in-swinging corner which found its way past Lizzie Durack.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Rachael Laws; Rachel Pitman, Victoria Williams, Hayley Sharp, Zaneta Wyne; Kasia Lipka, Dominique Bruinenberg, Lucy Staniforth; Keira Ramshaw, Abbey Joice, Bridget Galloway
Substitutes: Ellie Stewart for Williams 35, Mollie Lambert for Bruinenberg 62, Simona Koren for Galloway 73
Substitutes not used: Anke Pruess, Kylla Sjoman, Louise Griffiths
Bookings: Wyne 43
Red Cards: None
Everton (4-2-3-1): Lizzie Durack; Taylor Hinds, Gabby George, Georgia Brougham, Siri Worm; Megan Finnigan, Angharad James; Danielle Turner, Mollie Green, Chloe Kelly; Courtney Sweetman-Kirk
Substitutes: Olivia Chance for Finnigan 70, Jodie Brett for Green 70, Elise Hughes for Hinds 84
Substitutes not used: Kirstie Levell, Marthe Munsterman, Faye Bryson
Red Cards: None
Referee: Rebecca Welch
In a first half of few chances, it was Everton who threatened first as Gabby George flicked a free-kick wide and Chloe Kelly dragged a shot past Laws' post from 25 yards.
Most of the opportunities were coming from range, with Sunderland duo Zaneta Wyne and Bridget Galloway both flashing efforts from distance over Durack's bar as the opening period ended goalless.
Turner’s opener saw the game burst into life, as George flashed a header wide before Abbey Joice almost levelled for the Black Cats with Durack at full-stretch to deny her after a mazy solo run.
Sunderland wouldn't have to wait long for an equaliser though, with Staniforth curling the resultant corner over everyone and in via the far post.
Both sides had late chances to win it, with Keira Ramshaw firing into the hands of Durack and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk curling an effort wide of the far post, but neither could find the elusive winner.
GOAL OF THE MATCH
Just a minute after the restart Everton found themselves ahead - Kelly accelerating down the right before picking out Turner in the centre, and the winger made no mistake as she fired into the roof of the net.
WHAT THEY SAID
Sunderland's goalscorer Lucy Staniforth said: "I think we all feel a bit disappointed that we didn't get all three points. The game was quite even, although I thought that we were the better team and we just needed to test their goalkeeper a bit more. I'm happy with the point, but I would have liked three.
"It's quite funny because I've scored a few corners now and it's becoming a bit of a speciality. It's great to score another goal and it's just a shame we couldn't get all three points.
"I was gutted we conceded so early in the second half, especially after we'd just said in the changing room that we needed to be defensively tight.
"We felt we had a point to prove after losing to Everton earlier this season. We weren't at our best that game and we were disappointed with ourselves and let the fans down. It's something we wanted to put right tonight and we're one step closer to that."
Everton skipper Danielle Turner added: "I think it was a fairly even game in the first half. We got an early goal in the second half and I thought we were on top and gained confidence, but then we conceded an unfortunate goal. We're disappointed with the result, but it's an improvement on Sunday's performance which is a positive.
"I'm on a bit of a goalscoring run which is pleasing personally and I seem to like scoring against Sunderland because that's my third now! We got our tails up after that goal and confidence was high but when we conceded the goal we needed to find a way to get back on top. Maybe we didn't do that as well as we could have.
"It was a quick turnaround from Sunday and there was probably tired legs on both sides. Even though it was an emphatic scoreline against Durham we weren't pleased with the performance, so today is something we can take forward."
Sunderland head to Birmingham on Easter Sunday with a quick turnaround against a Blues side that was also in action in FA WSL 1 on Wednesday evening.
Everton, meanwhile have a fortnight off before their huge FA Cup semi-final clash against Arsenal at Marine.
Lucy Staniforth added: "It'll be another tough game and it will likely be a similar affair. Birmingham are a physical team, they like to play football at times but they can be quite direct too. We need to make sure we perform the way we did against Birmingham at home and we'll have every chance of getting a result there.
"I thought we were brilliant against them earlier this season. We got everything right and it's just a case of making sure we all turn up from one to eleven and the substitutes, and that we are all willing to be brave and creative in the final third."
"We've set out to build the biggest gap we can between ourselves and the bottom part of the table. The result against Everton was a step in the right direction and we'll be looking to pick up more points at Birmingham on Sunday."
Danielle Turner added: "It's an exciting draw and we're one game away from Wembley. There's a lot at stake but it's a one-off cup game and anything can happen. We're back at Marine for that game which is good for us. We've got two weeks to prepare for that game so we'll make sure we're mentally and physically prepared as best as we can be to try and get that win.
"We'll use those two weeks to really pin down how we're going to play and how we can expose Arsenal so hopefully we can get a win.
"We know Arsenal will be tough. We've played them twice in the league this year and they've beaten us twice, but we competed in both of those games. That's shown us that we can compete against the top teams in the country so we'll go into that game with every confidence that we can win it."
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