Brighton & Hove Albion secured their first win of the FA Women’s Super League season with a battling 2-1 victory over Yeovil Town at the Broadfield Stadium.
First-half strikes from Jodie Brett and Victoria Williams were enough to overcome Yeovil, who ensured a nervy end to the match after Ellie Mason’s strike midway through the second half.
Hope Powell made three changes to the side that faced Manchester City the previous week, with Fliss Gibbons, Brett and Ini Umotong all coming into the side.
Albion took charge of proceedings from the off and could have taken an early lead when Umotong headed wide from Brett’s cross.
Kayleigh Green then delivered an enticing cross into the path of Umotong and Aileen Whelan, but neither managed to make a connection with the ball.
The deadlock was broken courtesy of Brett with 14 minutes played, as she coolly slotted home from Green’s cross to give the Seagulls a deserved lead.
Powell’s team continued to apply the pressure, and Green surged towards goal, only to be denied by Megan Walsh at her near post.
Danielle Buet was next to try her luck with a shot from distance that cleared the crossbar, before Albion doubled their lead just past the half-hour mark.
Yeovil failed to deal with a corner into the box, and Williams was allowed to fire home from close range to give the Seagulls a two-goal cushion.
The Glovers created the first chance after the re-start when Hannah Short drifted a free kick into the box, but Marie Hourihan made a comfortable save and took a whack in the process.
Albion worked their first opening of the second half when Buet’s corner was met by Brett inside the area, only for the latter to fire wide.
Lee Burch’s side worked a promising opening through Olivia Ferguson, but her tame effort didn’t trouble Hourihan in the Albion goal.
The Somerset side did halve the deficit with 69 minutes played as referee Jacob Miles pointed to the spot following a melee in the box.
Mason saw her resulting penalty saved by Hourihan before she fired home on the rebound to bring the visitors back into the game.
Albion broke forward straight away from the kick-off, as Green was denied by Walsh, before Whelan saw her follow-up strike blocked.
The game really started to open up with chances for both sides, and Hourihan made an outstanding left-handed stop to keep out a low strike from Nicola Cousins and deny the Glovers a seemingly unlikely equaliser.
Umotong thought she had wrapped the game up in emphatic fashion with a stunning looping strike, but the Nigerian forward was thwarted by Walsh’s superb one-handed save.
Albion came even closer to scoring a third from the subsequent corner, but Green agonisingly kneed Buet’s corner over the bar from deep inside the area.
Both sides continued to show plenty of endeavour with a number of challenges flying in late on, but the Seagulls held on for three crucial points and move four clear of Yeovil at the foot of the table.
ALBION: Hourihan; Barton, Rafferty, Williams, Gibbons (Perry 59); A. Whelan, Buet, Brett; Green, Umotong, Brazil.
SUBS NOT USED: Gillett (GK), Nilden, F. Whelan, Peplow, Legg, Natkiel.