• By football reporter

Jarrett and Phillips see London City Lionesses beat Sunderland 2-0



By Football Reporter

Sunderland 0-2 London City Lionesses

London City Lionesses maintained their push towards the top of the FA Women’s Championship with an impressive 2-0 victory on the road against Sunderland.

A late goal from Rianna Jarrett secured the win for Melissa Phillips’ side, after defender Carly Girasoli opened the scoring early.

The away side had several chances to score more in the first half, while Sunderland had opportunities to equalise in the second period, being denied by a combination of goalkeeper Shae Yanez and the crossbar.

But the Lionesses defended well before Jarrett’s strike ensured they bounced back from their defeat to Durham last week with a win in the North East.

The Lionesses started brightly at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground, with Girasoli prodding the ball home in the first five minutes after Sunderland failed to clear a corner.

Girasoli had a great chance to double her tally just after the half-hour mark but headed wide in the six-yard box after a free-kick from Amy Rodgers.

Jarrett and Lucy Fitzgerald both also had opportunities to extend the Lionesses' lead before half-time, but missed the target from good positions in the area.

Sunderland started the second half strongly and, shortly after the break, Grace McCatty ran down the right and slotted in Emily Scarr, who shot straight at Yanez.

Mel Reay's side came even closer when McCatty headed onto the bar from a corner and shortly after Yanez was forced to save Neve Herron’s effort.

However Jarrett clinched the victory late on for the visitors, scoring the rebound after an Allison Cowling double save.

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Melissa Phillips, LCL manager said: "Credit to Sunderland they've been a very tough team to play against in the league this year – they're organised, they work hard, they make it a little bit of a chippy game, and I think we did a good job to negate that in possession.

“We could have been better in wide areas at times, but ultimately we were able to convert on two set-piece goals ourselves which is a focal point for everyone in the league, but certainly ourselves as of late. I think we showed a lot of heart in the game.

"The early goal builds a bit of confidence but then it changes the game. We faced a few challenges in transitions with them, they're very good in attacking transition, but I think we managed moments really well.

“I also think we managed their set-pieces really well, they're one of the top teams in the league in terms of their delivery on set-pieces so I think we did a really good job executing our game plan throughout.

"Rianna [Jarrett] has been in really good spots, she's been maybe a bit unfortunate not to tuck a few more away when she's been in those kinds of positions. We know she can be very, very clinical and it's great for her to get the goal but ultimately it was a product of us closing out the game properly and seeing it out.”

Mel Reay, Sunderland manager, said: "Really disappointed with the result, especially on the back of the week that we've had in terms of the wins against Charlton and Blackburn.

“We had lots of momentum going into the game and conceding really early from the corner knocked us back a little bit. We came back into the game, I thought we dominated the ball for spells but just that final third we're not clinical enough.

"There's always positives to take and I think you've got to look for them as well and build on them, but we're disappointed overall on the back of a positive week that we've had, we dust ourselves down and we've got to go again next week against Watford.

"We've just got to switch on in both boxes, it's two set-pieces really that's killed us, and we pride ourselves at being good at set-pieces, so we'll be back to the drawing board and be better for next week."


Sunderland: (4-2-3-1): Allison Cowling; Faye Mullen, Grace McCatty, Charlotte Potts, Louise Griffiths; Emma Kelly, Abbey Joice; Jessica Brown, Keria Ramshaw, Neve Herron; Emily Scarr

Substitutes: Holly Manders for Brown 57, Eve Blakey for Mullen 81

Substitutes not used: Claudia Moan, Eve Blakey, Grace Ede, Libbi McInness, Megan Beer

Bookings: Griffiths 56

London City Lionesses: (4-3-3): Shae Yanez; Wiktoria Fronc, Harley Bennett, Carly Girasoli, Lucy Fitzgerald; Amy Rodgers, Charlotte Fleming, Atlanta Primus; Karin Muya, Rianna Jarrett, Jamie-Lee Napier

Substitutes: Mollie Rouse for Rodgers 74, Brooke Nunn for Muya 78, Annie Rossiter for Fleming 90

Substitutes not used: Grace Neville, Hannah Short, Anna Pedersen, Kenni Thompson

Goals: Girasoli 4, Jarrett 88

Bookings: Girasoli 25

Referee: Georgia Bell

Attendance: 256