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City undone by late Black Cats strike

13 March 2013

Sky Blues suffer late heartbreak in trip to Wearside to tackle league leaders

Coventry City Ladies goalkeeper Sue Wood praised the ‘strength and character’ of the team, despite the 3-2 loss to league leaders Sunderland on Sunday.

A winning goal eight minutes into injury-time from Rachel Furness ruined the Sky Blues’ long journey back from Wearside, after Nicole Dale had dragged the visitor’s level with twenty minutes remaining.

Despite the heartbreak of conceding a late winner and disappointing results recently in the FA Cup and League Cup, Wood believes that the character of the players will play a big role in getting them back on track.

"There is so much to take from our recent performances, not just Sunday. If we perform again as a team with that level of commitment and determination, we will cause trouble against any team we play."

Sunderland are unbeaten in all 11 league games this season and last lost a league game in November 2011, but were given undoubtedly their biggest scare of the season by a vibrant Sky Blues.

Helen Dermody’s free-kick found the back of the net via a deflection, before Furness equalised from the penalty spot to level things up at half-time.

Sophie Williams netted from close range immediately after the break, before the late drama.

Wood added: "Obviously it was disappointing to lose the game on such a late winner but Sunderland played very well. They have a strong group of players capable of causing trouble in the Women's Super League and we matched them throughout the game."

Their inconsistent season was summed up by the recent 3-0 FA League Cup loss to Aston Villa, followed by a 2-1 reverse in the Birmingham FA County Cup semi-final a week later, which put Coventry City just one victory away from consecutive cup triumphs.

Dale admitted that the team go into every game without focusing on previous results.

"I can honestly say here at Coventry, that we take every new fixture as an opportunity to strive, refusing to dwell on previous fixtures and results. Both individually and collectively, confidence levels are on the up, from the positives that have been taken from our last couple of games."

The Sky Blues face another tricky tie this Sunday, as they host Leeds United at the Bedworth Oval.

The visitors are unbeaten in ten games in all competitions, which has seen them springboard to third place in the FA Women’s Premier League table. Coventry City will be looking to exact revenge on the Yorkshire side, who grabbed an injury-time winner when the two teams met back in August.

"We had one of our best performances against Leeds earlier on this season," Dale said.
"Therefore we should use this positive experience to reflect and approach the game with the determination and togetherness we have at the club, and with this the rewards will follow."

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