Brighton & Hove Albion women’s first-team manager Hope Powell was magnanimous after today’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, and admits the visitors were worthy winners.
Lauren James’s brace knocked Albion out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup at the fourth round, with Dani Buet seeing her second-half penalty saved by Siobhan Chamberlain, and Powell commented on a below-par display.
She said, “I don’t think we were at our best in the first half, and we were very rusty for whatever reason.
“We couldn’t hold the ball or string passes together, so it was a bit challenging for us today. That being said, credit to them [United], they were technically very good, but I was pleased we went in at half time 0-0.
“I made a change and we looked a bit livelier when Kayleigh [Green] went upfront in the second half, and we should’ve scored from the penalty. But they were the better team and deserved to go through.”
Powell praised Green for the endeavour shown to win Albion a penalty, and Megan Connolly for an impressive performance on her debut.
“Kayleigh will run and chase everything down. She did that and got herself in the box to win the penalty. I’m disappointed we didn’t score and Dan is a bit upset about it, but she’s brave enough to step up and the goalkeeper made a good save.
“I thought Megan did well and offers something different. She can find a pass and is mobile, around the pitch. It was a good introduction and I’m really pleased for her, and I think she enjoyed it.”
Albion’s attention turns back to the FA Women’s Super League and a match away at Bristol City next Sunday, and Powell is looking for her side to show more quality on the ball.
“It’s a crucial game and we’ll have to perform better than what we did today. That being said, I can’t fault the players’ desire, particularly towards the latter stages of the game.
“But we have to be a bit crisper with our passing and create a few more chances.”