Bradford City Women exited the Vitality Women’s FA Cup with a 2-0 defeat at home to Sunderland West End Ladies.
Goals at the end of either half from City’s Wearside visitors - who have not lost a game since the 2018/19 season, were enough to knock Chris Hames’ side out - at the second-qualifying-round stage.
The early stages of the game were strongly contested with several rash challenges resulting in a number of stoppages for injuries and a booking for a Sunderland player.
The physical nature of the game could quite easily have escalated, had the referee have taken a different stance, both teams could have been down to 10 or even nine players.
Although there were not many chances for either team, when called upon City keeper Hannah Richards made some great stops.
Sunderland broke the deadlock just before half-time from a free-kick that was and bundled into the net from a tight angle by the Sunderland striker.
After the break, the Bantams came out with more vigour. Chances for Charlotte Gill and Charlotte Stuart produced great saves from the Sunderland keeper, and captain Zoe Roberts hitting the bar from a free-kick.
City were much the stronger side in the second half and despite the physical nature did well controlling most of the play, except where it really mattered in their opponents’ final third.
Despite all the possession and pressure from Hames’ women it was Sunderland who always looked dangerous on the break who got their second goal from a corner deep into the second half.