BURNLEY FC Women got their FA Women's National League campaign off to the perfect start thanks to a superb 2-1 win at last season's runaway side Sunderland AFC Ladies - a team that did not lose a single game.

New signing, Katie Thomas, marked her debut with a stunning goal and Sarah Agger netted a late winner after the hosts had drawn level in the Northern Premier Division clash.

The game, played behind closed doors at the Academy of Light, presented significant challenges to the Claret Women, after a disrupted pre–season build up and facing the toughest of opponents to contend with.

But Burnley found their form and restricted the home team advances during the more difficult periods of the game - piling pressure on their opponents to gain a deserved victory thanks to a late winner.

The Clarets started strongly and Thomas was quickly making her mark on the game as she struck a 20-yard shot narrowly wide of the top corner.

She continued to prove her worth in the early stages as she tussled with a defender and then cut through on goal, but again, shot slightly wide before Agger maintained the pressure with a shot from a Lizzy Hamer cross.

Sunderland slowly got in to the game and Clarets keeper Lauren Bracewell made two good saves - one from the home side's star player Abbey Joice.

But Burnley were a threat on the break and Agger was denied by Allison Cowling.

And Thomas made the breakthrough just past the half hour mark with a sublime effort, unleashing a dipping 40 yard effort into the top corner that gave Cowling no chance.

The Clarets had further efforts before the break with Kenedy Owen and Kerry Hope both going close.

The Lady Black Cats ended the half strongly but Nic Worthington, Cara Bickett, Olivia Wilson and Olivia Greenhalgh all blocking goal-bound attempts

The home side upped the pressure after the break and Bracewell was again tested while the Clarets defence were forced to defend several corners.

The pressure finally paid off in the 72nd minute when Sunderland were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area Emily Scarr arrowed a shot past the diving Bracewell.

The busy Hamer thought she had restored the Clarets lead with a shot but the officials ruled that not all the ball had crossed the line.

But, with eight minutes remaining, Hamer was involved in the match winner, this time threading a ball through to Agger who cut in off the flank, drove towards goal and shot high into the top corner past the advancing keeper.

While Sunderland forced a series of late corners, Burnley held firm to seal a memorable victory.