Albion Women suffered their first defeat in the Premier League Cup losing 5-2 to Charlton, despite a spirited performance against the National Division side...It was a score line that certainly flattered the home side, with Albion playing some lovely passing football and creating a number of early opportunities.
Faye Rabson made a driving run down the left-hand side and saw her shot saved by keeper Kelly Cooper; and just moments later, Kerrie Ryan struck just wide of the post after Stenning’s ball into the area.
But Albion failed to make their pressure count, as Sinead Boyer’s 34th-minute strike from just outside the area beat Sole at the far post and started an action-filled spell of four goals in the final ten minutes of the first-half.
Kim Stenning equalised five minutes later with her tenth goal of the season, after diverting Agg’s shot past Cooper to put Albion deservedly back on level terms.
Disaster then struck for the Seagulls, as Sole was sent off for being adjudged to have kicked Gemma Shepherd inside the penalty area in an off- the- ball incident.
Without a goalkeeper on the bench, Tammy Waine stepped in between the sticks and faced Shepherd’s penalty; but she could not prevent the striker from dispatching the resulting spot-kick.
Kit Graham added further gloss to the score line, after Waine saved Gemma Bryan’s long-range strike before spilling the ball into the path of the midfielder, who slotted home.
Perhaps the highlight of the game from an Albion perspective came after 52 minutes, when Lily Agg unleashed a superb left-foot volley from outside the box that looped over Cooper and into the net to get Albion back in contention.
But the Addicks regained their two-goal advantage, as Jodie Jacobs was penalised for a foul on Bryan inside the box; and Shepherd was clinical once again from the spot, making it 4-2.
Graham wrapped up the points for Charlton with her second of the match, as her run down the left led to a shot which beat Waine at the near post.
The Seagulls ended the match with nine players, after Charley Boswell hobbled off after all three substitutes had been used and to make matters worse, Rebecca Thompson-Agbro suffered bad swelling on her ankle after clashing with Bryan at full-time.
Manager, Jay Lovett was delighted with the team’s performance, despite the score line. He told Seagulls.co.uk, “I feel very proud of the players and the way they conducted themselves today, especially before the sending off.
“We created a number of opportunities and if we had 11 players on the pitch for the remainder of the game, we could have won the game comfortably.
“If we acquit ourselves in the same manner against any other team in our own league, then we’ll come up with a very good result.”
Meanwhile Albion Midfielder, Agg was pleased with her goal, but felt the side did not get a worthy reward for their efforts.
She added, “I’m used to playing upfront so going back into midfield and not scoring has been difficult, so it was nice to score.
“I think we played a lot better than them, it was a gutting result and not a true reflection of the game.”
Albion: Sole (GK); Cheshire, Jacobs, Thompson-Agbro, Rabson; Ryan (c) (Somes 75), Waine, Agg; Boswell, Stenning (Carter 60), O’Hagan (Barton 60). Sub not used: Hinton.