Report: Albion record another pre-season win

Albion record their second win of pre-season, beating Charlton Athletic. Ellie Brazil scores the only goal of the game after three minutes. The Seagulls hit the post through Laura Rafferty. Young goalkeeper Lucy Williamson introduced late on.

By Jake Ketley • 28 July 2019

By Geoff Penn

Hope Powell's team maintained their winning start to pre-season, after recording a 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre on Sunday.

Ellie Brazil’s third-minute goal proved to be the difference between the two teams, although the scoreline could easily have been more favourable for Albion, who created multiple chances against their Women’s Championship opponents.

Powell had another opportunity to give more minutes to her squad, and handed new signing Matilde Lundorf Skovsen her first taste of Albion action at right back.

The Seagulls came out of the blocks quickly, and scored with their first chance of the match. A neat move split the Charlton defence, and Brazil showed good composure to round the goalkeeper and slot the ball home.

Powell’s side continued to assert their early dominance, as Fliss Gibbons broke clear on the left after some good play by Ini Umotong to force a fine save from the Charlton goalkeeper.

Megan Connolly then whipped in a dangerous ball from a free kick, but no Albion player could manage to get a decisive touch on the ball.

The chances kept coming for the Seagulls and just after the 20-minute mark, Gibbons showed good trickery on the left wing to manufacture some space for herself to create a cross, but her fantastic delivery couldn’t be turned in by Umotong.

From the resulting corner, the defender one again produced a brilliant cross, this time for Laura Rafferty, who couldn’t find the scoring touch, as her effort cannoned back off the post.

It took until the half-hour mark for the Addicks to create their first chance of the match. Some confusion in the defence meant that Albion couldn’t clear their lines, but new-signing Megan Walsh saved well from point-blank range.

Despite a few more minor scares for the home defence, the team remained untroubled and saw their lead out until half-time.

Powell made a plethora of changes when the match resumed, but the Seagulls continued to have the upper hand at the start of the second half, as Aileen Whelan was close to meeting a dangerous cross played in from the left side.

Brazil then showed tremendous attitude to create a chance for herself. Victoria Williams’s ball over the top looked as if it wasn’t going to trouble the Charlton defence, but the England Under-21 international’s perseverance got her in front of the defender, and she managed to sting the palms of the Addicks goalkeeper.


As the half continued, Albion focussed on their build-up play and keeping possession of the ball, and their endeavour resulted in some more chances being created.

Kate Natkiel was played into space on the right-hand side of the area and her ball went just inches past Whelan.

Whelan was presented with another opportunity with a quarter of an hour remaining. Kirsty Barton found Dani Buet down the right, and the latter hit a first-time ball into Natkiel, who released Whelan, but her attempt went over the crossbar.

Powell then introduced young goalkeeper Lucy Williamson for the final ten minutes, and she pulled off a fantastic save to deny Charlton late on.

That was the final chance of the match, and Albion held on to secure another victory.

ALBION: Walsh (Williamson 80); Skovsen (Barton 46), F. Whelan (Williams 46), Rafferty, Gibbons (Nilden 46); Connolly (Simpkins 46), Buet, A. Whelan; Brazil, Umotong (Natkiel 46), Trialist (Roe 80).

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