Fulham Women were made to work hard on the opening day of the season by a spirited Sutton United side but second half strikes from Ellie Olds and Helen Ogle sealed all three points.

Both goals came late as the Whites’ superior fitness and clinical finishing eventually proved too much for the newly-promoted Sutton. Steve Jaye’s side had to wait until fifteen minutes from time for the opener which came from a sweeping move along the right flank started by skipper Mary Southgate. George Heasman galloped to the byline and produced a brilliant low ball in that Olds converted inside the six yard box at the back post.

The visitors made sure of victory three minutes from time when a left-footed volley from Southgate was parried out by the Sutton goalkeeper only for Ogle, who shared the leading goalscorer’s crown with Olds last term, to poach the pivotal second from the rebound. The hosts did pull a goal back in stoppage time when Olivia Watson strode past a couple of white shirts and struck an unstoppable effort from distance past Edie Kelly, but there wasn’t enough time for United to mount a late comeback.

Fulham largely dominated the first half but the incisiveness of the football that took them close to promotion last season wasn’t quite there. Kelly had to make a brilliant double save as Sutton grew in confidence, but the visitors came closest to breaking the deadlock. Midfielder Lilly Lambird, who has spent the summer playing in the United States, volleyed just over the crossbar and the lively Heasman clipped the frame of the goal with a rising drive.

The Whites raised the tempo at the start of the second half with Charmaine True, Ogle and Olds all coming close to scoring but Sutton kept them at bay impressively and created a couple of openings of their own on the counter attack. Fulham had to be patient and will be happy to take home all three points against a disciplined outfit who should surprise plenty of opponents on their home turf.

Fulham women are in action against next Sunday against Enfield Town at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in a 2pm kick off.

SUTTON UNITED WOMEN: Jenkins; Howell, Poynton, Gillet, Button, Backhurst, Colepio, Savage, Brinkley, Wells, Watson. Subs: Brown, McNulty, Malcolm, Staple, Mirjan.

GOAL: Watson (90+7).

FULHAM WOMEN (4-3-3): Kelly; Allen, Armstrong, Southgate, Bird; Foreman, Lambird, Christison-McNee; Ogle, Heasman, True. Subs: Olds, Woodland, Mendes, Cowan.

GOALS: Olds (75), Ogle (89).