CRAWLEY WASPS 0
Kirsty Barton’s first-half strike was enough to see Albion women overcome a spirited Crawley Wasps side and progress into the Sussex Challenge Cup semi-finals.
John Donoghue’s side created a number of early goalscoring opportunities; as Lucy Somes saw her effort cleared off the line, before Tammy Waine was played through one-on-one with Turner, but the Wasps keeper saved the Seagulls’ captain’s effort with her outstretched leg.
The breakthrough came in the 25th minute when Yasmin Poole’s cross was initially met by Waine inside the box, but her attempted header fell into the path of Barton, who struck home by the aid of a deflection.
Albion could have had a second goal moments later after Somes took advantage of some hesitation in the Crawley defence, but she shot wide from inside the box.
Kate Natkiel also had a chance with a left-footed strike that went just past the near post, before linking up well with Charlotte Owen to provide another opportunity for Somes, but Lucia Turner rushed out to claim the ball.
Albion continued to create chances after the break in search of that elusive second goal, with Natkiel and Charley Boswell linking up well to create a chance for Kim Whitcombe, but her effort was pushed behind for a corner.
Poole then made another opening for Waine after delivering a cross into the near post, but the forward struck wide from close range.
The hosts were more threatening in the last 15 minutes, as former Seagull Faye Rabson gave Albion a few worrying moments in the closing stages.
The pacy forward outran Poole in a surging move towards goal, only for Rebecca Thompson-Agbro to make a crucial interception to diffuse the attack.
Rabson then latched onto Toni Smith’s pass, but could only fire her effort straight into the hands of Albion keeper Charlotte Sole.
Donoghue’s side still ventured forward in search of a second goal when Whitcombe shot almost deflected off Alex Tibble for an own-goal.
But Albion played the final few minutes with ten players when Boswell was taken off as a precaution after clashing with Sole inside the area, but she seemed to have recovered at the final whistle.
The Seagulls held on for a hard-fought victory and will now face Worthing Town in the semi-finals of the competition.
Head coach Donoghue was satisfied with the way his players performed against a defensively resolute Wasps side.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “I was pleased that we were faced with a team who had a sheer determination to stop us playing, so it was a good challenge today.
"We kept the ball really well and showed a bit of patience. We changed play quite quickly and created numerous opportunities, particularly in the first half.”
Albion: Sole (GK); Poole, Hector (Carter 45), Thompson-Agbro, Boswell; Natkiel, Young, Barton (Whitcombe 45); Owen, Waine, Somes (Stenning 45). Sub not used: Simmonds (GK)
Next three fixtures:
24th November: Chesham United (H)League
1st December: Gillingham (A)League
8th December: Tottenham Hotspur (A)Premier League Cup