Watford’s Women’s FA Cup hopes ended in the fourth round as Sunderland prevailed in the clash of the National League high-flyers with a 2-0 victory in the north east.

A goal in each half was enough to send the National League North leaders through to the fifth round as the home side underlined why they have yet to lose a game this season and conceded just seven goals in the league.

Golden Girls boss Clinton Lancaster made two changes from the previous round against Plymouth Argyle, with Adekite Fatuga-Dada and Megan Chandler replacing Ryah Vyse and Jenny Kikomeko, but the conditions made life tricky for both sides in the opening stages.

Sunderland adapted quickest, but their opponents’ strength out wide saw them come into the game with Fatuga-Dada particularly threatening, but none of her team-mates were able to get on the end of any of her crosses.

The hosts responded equally positively though, and went in front just before the break through right-back Jessica Brown.

The Hornets came out in determined mood after the break, with Emma Beckett going close to levelling when her curling free-kick was kept out by a fingertip save, while substitute Vyse also had a powerful effort saved.

The home side held firm, illustrating why their defensive record is so good, and they doubled their lead when Keira Ramshaw met a Maria Farrugia corner and diverted the ball past keeper Chrissie Wiggins.

Watford continued to battle but they were unable to pull a goal back, with Kikomeko curling a shot narrowly wide in the closing stages.

Lancaster’s side now switch their focus to this weekend’s National Plate quarter-final clash against Chichester City.

Watford Ladies: Wiggins, Hill, Beckett, Huggins, Rolandsen, Stojko-Down, Chandler (Kikomeko 72), Fatuga-Dada, Carid (Richards 85), O'Leary (Vyse 66), Ward.