- Albion beat London Bees 5-0 at The Hive
- Amanda Nilden, Victoria Williams, Emily Simpkins, Ini Umotong and Kate Natkiel all on target
- The Seagulls move to the top of Group B before Thursday’s fixture between Arsenal and Bristol City
- The result is Albion’s biggest win of the season to date
A goal each from Amanda Nilden, Victoria Williams, Emily Simpkins, Ini Umotong and Kate Natkiel saw Hope Powell’s side comfortably sweep aside the Women’s Championship opposition on a chilly night in north London.
The result puts the Seagulls top of Group B before Arsenal’s match with Bristol City tomorrow, and leaves Hope Powell’s side with more than a fighting chance of claiming a place in the knockout stages heading into the last group game with London City Lionesses.
Powell made nine changes to the side that beat Birmingham City 3-0 on Sunday, with only Dani Bowman and Aileen Whelan remaining from that line-up.
Among the changes was the introduction of academy player Libby Bance, who made her senior debut after featuring on the bench in the Birmingham City match at the weekend.
Chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges, with only half-chances for Matilde Lundorf and Umotong inside the opening 20 minutes.
But Albion survived a big scare when Nikita Whinnett played a ball to the back post, and Amelia Hazard fired wide.
That was the extent of the goalmouth action in the hosts favour though, as Powell’s side grew in confidence throughout the half and gradually asserted their dominance on the contest.
Ellie Hack was next to come close with a header at the far post which was brilliantly pushed away by Megen Lynch, before Nilden slid an attempt wide from Natkiel’s cross.
But the Swede did get a goal which Albion’s endeavour warranted with 43 minutes on the clock. The forward latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the box, and saw her left-footed strike clip in off the post and beat Lynch.
Powell’s team continued from where they left off after the break and Williams added a second in the 53rd minute with a clinical finish past the goalkeeper, after being teed up by Umotong at the end of a superb free-flowing move.
Half-time substitute Simpkins got in on the act with Albion’s third on the hour mark when her cross-shot beat everyone inside the area, including Lynch at her near post.
It was 4-0 six minutes later thanks to Umotong, who got the goal her performance deserved with a clinical strike which beat the Bees shot stopper.
But Powell’s team were not in the mood to rest on their laurels, and added a fifth when Natkiel took aim from the edge of the area and saw her shot clip in off the underside of the bar.
An arguably much stiffer test awaits on Sunday with a match away at Manchester United, but they will head into the game with plenty of confidence after tonight’s dominant display.
ALBION: Harris; Lundorf, Kerkdijk, Hack, Williams; Bance, Bowman (Simpkins 46), A. Whelan; Natkiel, Umotong (Gibbons 86), Nilden.
SUBS NOT USED: Walsh (GK), Barton, Le Tissier, Le Garrec, Green.