Slow start before half time lead
The Lady Black Cats went into this game wanting to improve on last weekend’s draw against Reading in WSL 1, and with a semi-final place up for grabs both teams knew that the race for the first goal would be fundamental in progressing.
After such a sluggish start to the half, the game finally came to life in the 26th minute when Beth Mead dashed through on goal, however the striker's shot went straight down the middle, and it was easy picking for Mary Earps.
Seconds later, Brooke Chaplen then raced through on goal beating Earps, however - agonisingly - the ball rolled just wide and the scores remained level.
Reading were presented with a golden opportunity of their own as Stephanie Bannon conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box, but Lois Roche saw her set-piece blocked by Lucy Stainforth.
Sunderland finally went ahead when Krystle Johnston delivered a delicious driven ball across the face of the goal for Mead to tap it into the back of the net.
Soon after the lasses, doubled their lead. Abbey Joice whipped in a cross from the left-hand side and Victoria Williams judged it well, firing home at the near post.
Defence stands strong before Chaplen seals the win
Sunderland went into half time with a well-deserved two goal lead, while it was a welcome break for the Reading team after being hampered by injuries in the first half.
The Lady Black Cats' two goal lead was almost reduced at the start of the second as Nia Jones was presented a massive chance after taking up a position at the back post, but she was unable to make a good connection with the ball as it sped across the face of the goal.
As Reading desperately searched for a way back, Mead was a constant threat at the other end and, after getting the better of Reading's defence, she fired goal wards but was denied by the fingertips of Earps.
At the other end, Rachel Furness put her body on the line to deny Roche a goal-scoring opportunity and Rachael Laws was called into action as the visiting team continued to press; Helen Ward getting the better of Abby Holmes.
Despite the Royals producing wave after wave of attack towards the end, Chaplen added to the goal tally deep into stoppage time as she broke through and fired home to ensure the lasses' place in the semi-final draw.