- Albion begin 2018 with a victory
- Sophie Perry scores the only goal of the game
- Bronwen Thomas and Fliss Gibbons go close to extending Albion’s lead in the first half
- Bianca Baptiste and Wendy Martin both have chances to level the scores in the second half
Brighton & Hove Albion recorded a victory in their first FA Women’s Super League 2 game of 2018, after beating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Theobalds Lane.
Sophie Perry’s free kick proved to be the only decisive goal of the game in a scrappy encounter played on a bitterly cold day in Cheshunt.
The result means Albion have now accumulated 13 points from six league games, a point adrift of league leaders Doncaster Rovers at full time, who were in action later in the day against Watford.
Sarah Wiltshire had the first chance of the game for Tottenham after she cut inside the Albion defence, but Lucy Gillett was on hand to make a comfortable save.
Albion took the lead with 11 minutes on the clock after Ini Umotong was brought down just outside the box, and Sophie Perry confidently dispatched the subsequent set piece beyond Spurs keeper Chloe Morgan.
Beth Roe sought to double Albion’s advantage just a few minutes later after she cut inside from the right flank, but Morgan easily gathered her speculative effort.
Fliss Gibbons had the ball in the back of the net again for the Seagulls, but the linesman ruled out the strike for offside.
The hosts were limited to half chances for most of the first half, as Spurs worked the ball out to Katie O’Leary on the right, but Gillett comfortably dealt with her shot.
Hope Powell’s side continued to unsettle a nervy Spurs backline, and Gibbons had two chances in quick succession to double the visitors’ lead. The first saw her free kick cleared at the back post, before a close-range header went narrowly wide.
Albion came close once again to doubling their advantage when Kate Natkiel’s strike made its way into the path of Bronwen Thomas, whose driven attempt went just past the far post.
Spurs brought on Bianca Baptiste just before the hour mark, and she almost had an immediate impact when her shot from Wiltshire’s pass rose just over the crossbar.
The hosts were enjoying a spell of pressure on the Albion goal, and Gillett was called into action to tip away Jenna Schillaci’s free kick at the last moment.
Lauren Pickett took advantage of some confusion inside the Albion defence to go through on goal, but Gillett was on hand to claim the loose ball.
Natkiel had another opportunity to take aim from just outside the box, but Morgan made another comfortable save.
Baptiste continued to look lively after coming off from the bench, and she saw shot take a deflection before going wide following Wiltshire’s initial effort fell into her path.
Wendy Martin, who also came off the bench, had a chance to level the scores from the subsequent corner, but her near post header was kept out by Gillett.
Umotong could have doubled Albion’s advantage deep into stoppage time after racing through one on one with Morgan, but the Spurs keeper saved her shot and the game ended 1-0 to the Seagulls.
ALBION: Gillett; Roe, Rafferty (Ashton-Jones 63), F. Whelan, Perry; Barton, Legg (Taylor 85), Gibbons; Thomas, Umotong, Natkiel.
SUBS NOT USED: Hartley (GK), Ritchie, Pharoah, Somes.