- Albion qualify for the knockout stages of the FA Continental Tyres League Cup
- The Seagulls take the lead through Ellie Brazil
- Yeovil reply through Shannon Albuery
- Dani Buet, Kayleigh Green and Beth Roe also on the score sheet
Brighton & Hove Albion have secured a place in the FA Continental Tyres League Cup knockout stages after claiming a comfortable 4-1 victory against Yeovil Town.
Manager Hope Powell once again rotated the side giving Sophie Harris her first appearance since August after an injury lay-off. Emily Simpkins was also restored to the starting 11 after claiming her first start for four months against Palace.
It was a cagey affair to start the match, with neither side managing to find a cutting edge to their play. Albion arguably had the better of the opening minutes with the Seagulls being restricted to long shots from 25 yards out, with Ini Umotong and Jenna Legg both sending the ball over the bar.
Albion’s early patience paid off in the 15th minute when Kate Natkiel managed to scoop a ball into the path of unmarked forward Ellie Brazil, who had the time and space to control the ball before calmly slotting the ball to the Megan Walsh’s left in the Yeovil Town goal.
Just seconds after the restart, Albion could have doubled their lead but Walsh held Victoria Williams’ deft touch from a cross.
The Seagulls looked as though they were controlling the match, but on the half hour mark the hosts started to find their rhythm.
After a few scares, where Shannon Albuery’s shot was blocked from point blank range, Emily Syme was given time and space on the edge of the area and sent the ball into the back of the net from 18 yards to level the scores.
Albion could have been ahead barely a minute after the restart when Kate Natkiel found herself free on the right hand side of the area, but could only see her shot cannon back off the post.
As the half approached a close, Albuery had another good chance for the hosts as she stung the palms of Sophie Harris from six yards out.
The teams looked as though they’d be going in level at the break but in the dying seconds, Umotong was fouled in the box under the challenge of Ellie Mason.
Captain Dani Buet stepped up to take the spot kick and comfortably sent it past Walsh with the final kick of the half.
Hope Powell made two changes at half time bringing on Kayleigh Green and Laura Rafferty for Ini Umotong and goal scorer Dani Buet.
Albion started the half brightly with Green striking into the hands of Walsh, before Yeovil replied by forcing Harris to tip the ball onto the crossbar.
Green wouldn’t have to wait long before having another opportunity to score as on the 53rd minute a surging run from Fliss Gibbons into the penalty area allowed her to cross to Green who did well to finish from close range.
As the half wore on there were few chances of note, with Yeovil’s best chance coming from an Albion mistake.
An under hit pass from Sophie Perry let Olivia Fergusson run in on-v-one with Harris, but the Glovers substitute was unable to beat her.
Perry redeemed herself moments after by clearing from the goal line following a scramble from a corner.
Albion managed to control the match and were rewarded with a fourth and final goal as substitute Beth Roe, who had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds, slotted home low across the goal with her first touch.
Hope Powell’s side will now turn their attentions back to the FA Women’s Super League following a Christmas break when the side travel to Liverpool on Sunday, 6th January.
ALBION: Harris; Perry (Roe 82), Buet (Rafferty 46), Williams, Gibbons; Legg, Brett, Simpkins; Natkiel, Umotong (Green 46), Brazil.
SUBS NOT USED: Gillett (GK), Hourihan (GK), Le Tissier, A. Whelan.