Report: Green and Le Garrec give Birmingham the Blues

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Albion thrilled a crowd of 4,130 as they claimed their first win of the season in the Barclays FA Women's Super League with a hugely impressive performance over Birmingham City at the Amex.

By Bruce Talbot • 17 November 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Lea Le Garrec celebrates scoring Albion's second goal.
  • Albion secure their first Barclays FA Women's Super League win of the season
  • Kayleigh Green (2) and Lea Le Garrec on target at the Amex
  • Emily Simpkins also hits the crossbar
  • The Seagulls are next in action in the Continental League Cup against London Bees on Wednesday

Wales international Kayleigh Green, who was named player of the match, scored twice either side of a brilliant long-range rocket from Lea Le Garrec, as Hope Powell’s team enjoyed their biggest home win in the WSL.

Victory lifted Albion above Birmingham into ninth place and will give them plenty of confidence ahead of next Sunday’s WSL visit to Manchester United.

Powell made three changes to the side last in league action against Everton three weeks ago, with Kirsty Barton, Fern Whelan and Emily Simpkins all recalled.

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion players celebrate scoring Kayleigh Green's first goal.

After a cagey start Albion went in front in the 14th minute, with Ellie Brazil heavily involved against her former club. The winger was sent tumbling by Harriet Scott’s clumsy challenge in the box after latching onto Maya Le Tissier’s pass and following a four-minute delay, while Brazil received treatment, Green thumped the penalty into the roof of the net.

Brazil limped off after taking another blow to her right knee with Matilde Lundorf replacing her, but the Seagulls looked capable of adding to their goal with Le Tissier firing narrowly off target from 25 yards, before Green got on the end of skipper Dani Bowman’s free-kick and Birmingham keeper Hannah Hampton pushed her header to safety. 

By Paul Hazlewood
Lea Le Garrec scored Albion's second goal.

The visitors had threatened little until then, but on 28 minutes Abbi Grant missed a great chance to equalise when she got free in the box, but lifted her shot wide of the target.

Albion thought they had doubled their lead seven minutes later when Simpkins nodded home virtually on the line after Hampton parried a powerful drive by Fliss Gibbons into the air - but the assistant had flagged for offside. In their next attack Albion went even closer when Hampton turned Simpkins’ close-range header onto the bar and over, Le Garrec having created the chance with a great cross from the right.

But the Seagulls deservedly doubled their lead a minute before half-time when Le Garrec scored a memorable first goal for the club, with a powerful strike from 25 yards that flew into the top right-hand corner.

By Paul Hazlewood
Aileen Whelan shrugs off a challenge.

Albion began the second half on the front foot as they looked for the goal that would kill off their opponents and Aileen Whelan nearly surprised Hampton with a cross from the right that drifted onto the roof of the net.

With two-thirds of the game gone Albion keeper Megan Walsh still hadn’t been seriously tested, and although the home side found it harder to reproduce the fluid attacking football they played in the first half, they wrapped up victory with 20 minutes to go when Green scored her second.

By Paul Hazlewood
Kayleigh Green added Albion's third goal.

Skipper Dani Bowman’s shot had been pushed out for a corner which Green headed goalwards only for the ball to take a deflection for another corner. This time Green made no mistake, rising above a cluster of players to meet Le Garrec’s left-wing delivery with a header into the top corner for her fifth goal of the season.

Albion had few alarms in seeing the game out and nearly added a fourth in stoppage time when Hampton denied Le Garrec.

ALBION: Walsh; Barton, F. Whelan, Le Tissier, Gibbons; Brazil (Lundorf 20), Bowman (Nilden 78), Simpkins, A. Whelan; Le Garrec, Green.

SUBS NOT USED: Harris, Natkiel, Kerkdijk, Williams, Bance.

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