- Albion are knocked out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup
- Isobel Christiansen and Claire Emslie on target for Manchester City
- Danielle Buet and Ini Umotong come closest to scoring for Albion
- The Seagulls return to FA WSL 2 action against London Bees next week
Brighton & Hove Albion were knocked out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup after a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in a spirited performance at Culver Road.
The Sussex County FA Headquarters was packed to the rafters with 1,372 fans inside the ground, as Albion acquitted themselves well against the current FA Cup holders and FA WSL 1 league leaders.
But despite their endeavour, goals from Isobel Christiansen and Claire Emslie in each half were enough to see the Citizens progress to round five, leaving Albion to focus on their FA WSL 2 campaign.
Albion had the first chance of the game when Sophie Perry teed up Danielle Buet from the left-hand side, but the midfielder fired wide from the edge of the box.
Christiansen worked the first opening for City when her free-kick was blocked by the wall and although the loose ball almost fell kindly for Jill Scott, Albion cleared the danger.
Christiansen was involved in the thick of the action again moments later, delivering an enticing cross towards an unmarked Jennifer Beattie, who headed straight at Lucy Gillett.
Gillett then did well to keep the score on level terms with a fine two-handed stop to keep out Christiansen’s strike.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic though; Albion broke forward quickly on the counter-attack, leading to another chance for Buet, who fired over the target with another fierce strike.
Christiansen was arguably City’s chief protagonist in the first half, and Beth Roe made a superb clearance on the line to keep out her goalbound effort.
But it was Emslie who came closest to breaking the deadlock for Nick Cushing’s side, as she cut in off the left flank and saw her looping strike clip the top of the crossbar with Gillet rooted to the spot.
The visitors continued to apply the pressure, with Perry on hand to make a clearance at the far post.
It looked like the two sides would be heading in at the break on level terms, but Christiansen put the holders in front on the stroke of half time when she fired home from inside the box.
Ini Umotong had a chance to bring Albion level shortly after the restart when she raced
one-on-one with Ellie Roebuck, but her shot went inches wide of the far post.
The Nigerian international then turned provider for Kirsty Barton, threading through a delightful pass to Albion's number eight, who in turn forced Roebuck into a low save.
Melissa Lawley then showed some neat footwork down the other end for City, as she weaved her way in from the left, only to see her shot go over the bar.
It was City who struck next though through Emslie, with her close-range effort squirming past Gillett at the near post with 68 minutes played.
Albion still attempted to make inroads into the City defence, but Perry saw a shot deflected wide.
Substitute Nadia Nadim almost added a third for City late on, but her curling effort went wide and the game finished 2-0.
ALBION: Gillett; Roe, F. Whelan, Rafferty, Perry; A. Whelan, Buet (Legg 64), Barton, Peplow, Gibbons (Nilden 45); Umotong (Natkiel 87).
SUBS NOT USED: Sansom (GK), Ashton-Jones.