- Albion win their opening FA WSL 2 game of the season
- Ini Umotong scores the winner on her debut
- Sophie Perry misses a penalty before Umotong's goal
- The Seagulls are next in action against Durham a week today
Brighton & Hove Albion won their first FA WSL 2 game of the season after a debut goal from Ini Umotong secured a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa at the Lamb Ground.
The game saw five players make their competitive Albion debuts, while Fliss Gibbons made her second bow for Albion following her first spell at the club in 2014-15.
The Seagulls started the game brightly, but it was Villa who had the first chance when striker Tash Baptiste volleyed high and wide from 20 yards.
The hosts then had another opportunity, when Kerry Welsh had her shot saved comfortably by Albion keeper Lucy Gillett.
Albion began to assert their dominance once again though, and could have found the breakthrough when a looping cross from Gibbons landed on top of the net.
Villa put the pressure on again, as Gillett was forced into action to keep out Aoife Hurley’s 25-yard strike.
Umotong had a chance to open the scoring, but she agonisingly failed to make a connection with Kirsty Barton’s cross into the area.
Baptiste proved to be a constant threat for Villa, but a brilliant tackle inside the box from new signing Fern Whelan denied her from having a shot on goal.
Umotong finally got the only decisive goal of the game on the stroke of half time. The Seagulls won a penalty after Sian Rogers fouled Kate Natkiel, and captain Sophie Perry stepped up to see her effort saved, before Gibbons fired the ball back into the box for the Nigerian international to side-foot home.
Villa started the second half brightly and had a chance straight away, as Kerry Welsh’s skewed effort forced Gillett into a fine fingertip save.
Umotong then nearly turned provider, as Gibbons latched on to her pass before clearing the crossbar by inches with her attempt.
The Nigerian international then had the chance to make it 2-0, but her one-on-one effort was palmed away.
Katie Wilkinson nearly scored an equaliser for Villa late on, but her attempt was cleared off the line and Albion ran out 1-0 winners.
ALBION: Gillett; Ashton-Jones, F Whelan, Rafferty, Perry ©; Buet, Barton, Thomas (Legg 64), Umotong (A Whelan 78); Gibbons, Natkiel.
SUBS NOT USED: Samson (GK), Roe, Somes.