Whitby striker Mead keeps Cats purring

Beth Mead (19) celebrates scoring against Watford for Sunderland ladies in the FA Women's Super League'picture: Susan Gutteridge
Beth Mead (19) celebrates scoring against Watford for Sunderland ladies in the FA Women's Super League'picture: Susan Gutteridge
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Hinderwell’s Beth Mead fired a second half brace of penalties as her Sunderland ladies side continued their 100% start to the new FA Women’s Super League season.

The Black Cats were trailing Watford 2-0 at the break on Sunday, but shocked their hosts with a stunning second half fightback, to win 4-2.

Beth Mead nets from the spot for Sunderland ladies at Watford'picture: Susan Gutteridge

Beth Mead nets from the spot for Sunderland ladies at Watford'picture: Susan Gutteridge

It means the ladies have won all five league games – and Mead is revelling in thenew challenge.

The 19-year-old told the Whitby Gazette this week: “I’m finding life in the WSL a better and harder challenge.

“The competition is a lot higher standard which is making me and our team step up our game.

“It will be a testing season for us but we are looking forward to the challenge ahead and proving that we can be one of the best women’s teams in the country.”

The top-scorer for her club last season when they won the FA Women’s Premier League, Mead now netted eight times in nine games this campaign.

In Sunday’s match, the Hornets stung Sunderland by establishing a two-goal lead but the second half was one-way traffic as the Black Cats threw the kitchen sink at their hosts.

The former Whitby Community College student could have had a hat-trick had her appeals for a first half penalty after being felled in the box not been controversially turned down.

A handball in the area allowed Mead to fire home from the spot on 58 minutes, with the striker beating keeper Davey low to her left for her sixth goal of the season.

Sunderland levelled with a stunning strike from Rachel Furness.

The comeback continued just three minutes later when Mead went clean through inside the area before being hauled back by the Watford full-back.

The striker made no mistake, firing low beyond Davey’s dive to turn the game on its head.

Sunderland’s comeback seemed to rock the hosts who struggled to get out of their own half before Kiera Ramshaw added the fourth.

It crowned a great week for Mead after she was named SportsByte sports person of the year at the Sunderland-based ceremony.

She also jointly collected the club of the year award with team captain Stephanie Bannon.

Mead and her team-mates return to competitive actionon Saturday June 28 when they play Yeovil Town Ladies at the Hetton Centre, noon kick-off.