Galloway strikes as Sunderland win Group One North
Black Cats beat Liverpool to qualify for Continental Tyres Cup quarter-finals in top spot
FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup match
18:00, Tuesday 5 December 2017
Sunderland AFC Ladies Goal Scorers: Galloway 13'
Bridget Galloway’s first senior goal saw Sunderland beat Liverpool to progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Women’s Super League Continental Tyres Cup as group winners.
Both sides were previously unbeaten in the competition, but it was the Wearsiders who claimed victory at Mariners Park and snatched top spot in Group One North from the Reds.
Liverpool started brightly, with midfielder Laura Coombs spurning two early chances as she blazed a close-range effort over the bar moments before the former Chelsea player saw an effort deflect narrowly wide.
And the Merseysiders were made to rue those missed chances when Sunderland took the lead – Galloway meeting Lucy Staniforth’s centre with a powerful header that left Siobhan Chamberlain with no chance.
Galloway could then have doubled her tally for the evening after she sprung the offside trap and bore down on goal but Chamberlain did well to tip her effort around the post.
Sunderland stopper Rachael Laws was then called into action to deny both Ashley Hodson and Bethany England as Liverpool ended the first half strongly.
The visitors introduced Natasha Harding to try and change the game and she was straight into the action, forcing Laws to parry her half-volley after the Black Cats failed to clear their lines.
It was Scott Rogers’ side who continued to press forward, with Caroline Weir’s shot on the turn and Harding’s curler both being well-saved by Laws as the Reds sought an equaliser.
But Sunderland held out to claim three points which saw them leapfrog Liverpool to top the group.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Sunderland defender Victoria Williams said: “When we played Liverpool in the league (a 4-1 loss in October), we were disappointed with the scoreline and for us, tonight was a chance to put those wrongs right.
“We put in a much more disciplined defensive performance today, which set us on our way.
“Since Bridget (Galloway) has come in, she’s been brilliant. She’s hungry for goals and it’s great to see someone come through the youth ranks at Sunderland and make her senior debut.
“That's what we want to do at Sunderland – we want to develop our own players and put them on the top stage.
“Topping the group puts us in a good position and hopefully, now we get a good draw in the quarter-finals.”
Liverpool manager Scott Rogers added: “I didn't think we did enough.
“We tried to play but our quality wasn't there. Their game plan got them the result.
“We were nowhere near the standards that we aim to hit and as a consequence, we didn’t deserve to win the game.
“It's the final third stuff – we didn't put it away.
“All credit to Sunderland. They're not an easy team to play against and if you don’t turn up, you get beat.
“You have to take your hat off to them and Melanie Reay (Sunderland manager).
“Maybe the fact that we were already through didn’t help us. We could have been complacent but we wanted to top the group.”
Sunderland (5-4-1): Rachael Laws; Rachel Pitman, Ellie Stewart, Victoria Williams, Hayley Sharp, Zaneta Wyne; Lucy Staniforth, Dominique Bruinenberg, Mollie Lambert, Kasia Lipka; Bridget Galloway
Substitutes: Kylla Sjoman for Pitman 56, Keira Ramshaw for Lambert 73, Simona Koren for Galloway 82
Substitutes not used: Sophy Stonehouse, Abbey Joice, Danielle Brown
Red Cards: None
Liverpool (4-4-2): Siobhan Chamberlain; Ellie Fletcher, Gemma Bonner, Casey Stoney, Alex Greenwood; Ashley Hodson, Sophie Ingle, Laura Coombs, Jess Clarke; Caroline Weir, Bethany England
Substitutes: Natasha Harding for England 61, Cassia Pike for Hodson 76
Substitutes not used: Becky Flaherty, Martha Harris, Kate Longhurst, Amy Rodgers
Bookings: Greenwood 80
Red Cards: None
Referee: Matthew Dicicco
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