Sunderland held by Lewes

Rhian Cleverly was on target for Lewes at Sunderland / Picture: GettyRhian Cleverly was on target for Lewes at Sunderland / Picture: Getty
Rhian Cleverly was on target for Lewes at Sunderland / Picture: Getty
Sunderland were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with Lewes in the FA Women's Championship, writes Milly McEvoy.

Rhian Cleverly scored the only goal of the first half early on for Lewes before Sunderland equalised late on through a Rebecca McKenna own goal at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland earned the first chance of the game as Keira Ramshaw’s shot bounced just wide off a deflection. But it was Lewes who scored first, taking the lead in the 12th minute as skipper Cleverly directed a corner into the back of the net.

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The Lasses looked for an equaliser minutes later, but Ramshaw was not able to connect with a Maria Farrugia cross as keeper Tatiana Saunders cleared. The two sides traded chances in the latter stages of the half with neither able to challenge the keeper as Lewes took a slender lead into the break.

In the second half, Iris Achterhof came off the bench to make her first Sunderland debut and was involved quickly as her shot deflected behind for a corner, Sunderland then saw Ramshaw’s shot trickle just wide.

With 12 minutes remaining, Lewes had their best chance of the half as Georgia Timms connected cleanly with a free-kick which required Claudia Moan to tip behind for a corner which Sunderland were able to clear. Nine minutes from time, Sunderland moved level as McKenna bundled Faye Mullen’s cross into the back of her own net.

With one minute remaining, Lewes had the ball in the net but the flag was already raised for offside to confirm the draw.

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Lewes (4-4-2): Tatiana Saunders, Rhian Cleverly, Ellie Hack, Rebecca McKenna, Sophie O’Rourke, Amelia Hazard, Isobel Dalton, Kallie Balfour, Paula Howells, Freda Ayisi, Ini-Abasi Umotong

Substitutes: Lucy Ashworth-Clifford for Balfour 46, Georgia Timms for Ayisi 60’, Heidi Logan for Howells 88’

Substitutes not used: Shanell Salgado, Nicola Cousins, Charley Boswell, Lara Miller

Goals: Rhian Cleverly 12

Bookings: Ini-Abasi Umotong 16, Freda Ayisi 60’

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