Sunderland go clear in WSL2

Sunderland Ladies moved eight points clear at the top of Women’s Super League 2 with a 4-1 victory over Watford and manager Mick Mulhern believes they have timed their promotion charge just right.

Beth Mead struck twice in the opening 10 minutes to give the Lady Black Cats a fantastic start and, despite conceding a Sasha Adamson strike, goals from Keira Ramshaw and Sophie Williams finished things off.

The win was Sunderland’s fourth on the bounce in the league with four fixtures still to play and Mulhern is confident his side can see the job through to the finish.

“We’re running into form at the perfect time and even when we’re not playing at our best we are getting good results,” he said.

“As a manager, there will be a few things I raise with the players because we could have been better – we were sloppy at times and I was disappointed with the goal we conceded.

“But it says a lot that we feel we could have done better when we’ve won 4-1 and could easily have scored a lot more.

“It’s just a case of concentrating and making sure we take it one step at a time. This win was another step successfully taken and that’s exactly how we looked at the three wins we’ve had previously.

“Obviously there’s a big home game to come against Doncaster Belles but we will only concentrate on that game when it is dead ahead of us.”

Aston Villa Ladies needed a late winner to see off Millwall Lionesses in a mid-table clash, with Emma Follis netting late on after Katie Wilkinson’s free-kick looked to have salvaged a point.

But Villa manager Joe Hunt insists there was only going to be one winner once his side get into its stride.

“It was a hard-fought game and both teams were good in patches and Millwall had some good spells of possession against us and always looked dangerous,” he said.

“When we got the free-kick and equalised we were on the front foot and that really helped us to go on and win the game.

“We’ve got two away games and three home games and we want to pick up maximum points.”

Elsewhere, Caroline Dixon scored twice as Durham beat London Bees – but not before Sydney Hinchcliffe scored to set up a nervy finish.

“It was a cliched game of two halves,” said manager Lee Sanders. “We played well in the first half, not so much in the second. We created a lot of chances in the first half, and really it could’ve been more before half time.

“But fair play to the London Bees, they came here and gave us a lot to think about in the second half, but for us, it’s a win, it’s three points, and it moves us that little bit further up the table away from the bottom end.”