Williams says Sunderland's sights are set on the top
The Black Cats followed up their FA WSL 1 win over Chelsea by firing four past Bristol Academy
Sunderland defender Victoria Williams believes the sky’s the limit for the Black Cats after they underlined their FA WSL 1 title ambitions with a 4-1 win at Bristol Academy.
Beth Mead - who scored a hat-trick against Chelsea last week - netted a double, Emma Kelly grabbed her first FA WSL 1 goal while captain Steph Bannon also struck.
It sees Sunderland move to the top of FA Women’s Super League with BT Sport ahead of Sunday’s fixtures, and Williams said: “We had a good start to the season and got points on the board early on, and although we then had a bit of a blip, we managed to finish the first half of the campaign strongly,
“We’ve started the second half strongly too because we had a good win at home to Chelsea last week and were delighted to come away with all three points from Bristol.
“We seem to have turned our home ground into a bit of a fortress and hopefully we can continue to pick up results away.
“It’s a team effort and we have a striker I think is world class in Beth Mead, who scored two again for us.
“Now we want to push ourselves and see how far we can go.”
Sunderland went ahead in the 22nd minute as Mead fired low to keeper Mary Earps’ left from 14 yards.
Six minutes later, Earps was called into action to deny Mead a second, but Bristol were back on level terms just before the break.
A poor clearance from Sunderland keeper Hilde Olsen fell to Georgia Evans, who fed striker Jade Boho Sayo and the Equatorial Guinea international powered home.
Sunderland regained their advantage five minutes into the second period after Black Cats skipper Bannon forced the ball home following a barrage of shots.
Bristol almost conjured up another quick leveller, but captain Ingle saw her glanced header from a corner drift wide.
Then Christie Murray rattled Sunderland’s bar with an angled shot from 20 yards and Ingle had a good attempt tipped over the bar by Olsen.
The outcome was put beyond doubt with nine minutes left when substitute Kelly prodded home the visitors’ third goal.
And two minutes later Sunderland broke again, Kelly teeing up Mead to net her second goal of the game.
Bristol are still looking for their first FA WSL 1 win, and midfielder Caroline Weir said: “The scoreline probably doesn’t represent the true picture of the game but you are not going to win matches if you don’t score goals. Sunderland have got a good striker in Beth Mead and she takes her chances.
“We were very disappointed with the result. We weren’t at the races and some of the goals were down to individual errors.
“The game against Birmingham is obviously going to be a big one for us.
“It’s definitely not over for us. Nobody feels like that and we are all going to keep going and hope we get our first league win soon.”
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Bristol Academy (4-1-4-1): Mary Earps; Frankie Brown (Tatiana Pinto 70), Hayley Ladd, Loren Dykes (Lauren Townsend 70); Georgia Evans; Nadia Lawrence (Angharad James 70), Sophie Ingle, Christie Murray, Caroline Weir; Jade Boho Sayo.
Subs (not used): Evdokia Popadinova, Sharla Passariello, Hannah Short, Hannah Reid.
Red cards: none
Sunderland (4-4-1-1): Hilde Olsen; Abby Holmes, Stephanie Bannon, Victoria Williams, Victoria Greenwell; Keira Ramshaw, Kelly McDougal (Sarah McFadden 66), Rachel Furness, Stephanie Roche (Emma Kelly 64); Brooke Chaplen; Beth Mead (Emma Wilson 90).
Subs (not used): Hayley Sharp, Abbey Joice, Rachel Laws.
Red cards: none
Referee: Chris Smith