But James' late strike proves only to be consolationSPORTING Club Albion Ladies pushed reigning Premier League champions Sunderland all the way before losing 2-1 in yesterday’s FA Women’s Cup fourth-round tie.
The Black Cats, who are unbeaten since October 2011 and currently top the table, took an early lead in the third minute and doubled their advantage 17 minutes later.
The Baggies refused to throw in the towel but Robyn James’ 92nd-minute strike proved too little, too late after a valiant second-half performance.
Albion manager Dave Lawrence said: “Every time we play against bigger opposition, we never have a problem motivating ourselves.
“I was always confident we would give them a run for their money.
“Apart from the Barnet game, when we’ve played against some of the better opposition like Cardiff, Barnet and Sunderland there has only ever been one goal in it.
“We’re not far away and playing these teams can only help us when we play our own league games.”
Defender Alice Broadbent was stretchered off late into the second half and taken to hospital, but her injury is not as bad as first feared and she could be back in action within a fortnight.
For more information on the ladies, follow their official Twitter @SCALadies or like them on Facebook at www.wba.co.uk/AlbionLadies.
SCA Ladies: Thomas; Nymoen, Broadbent, Rippington, Darby; Hodgetts (Fowler,78), Fellows, Owen, Neville, Pope (Baptiste, 66), James.
By Sean McCarron