Somes '52, '62
QUEENS PARK RANGERS 0
Brighton & Hove Albion women went top of the Premier League Southern Division table after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers at Culver Road.
A brace from Lucy Somes secured a fifth consecutive victory in all competitions and sent Albion three points clear of second-place Cardiff, albeit having played two games more than the Bluebirds.
The Seagulls dominated possession straight from kick-off, but only managed to create a handful of chances in the opening half hour.
Charlotte Gurr’s in-swinging cross found Sophie Perry inside the box but her header was saved by Rangers keeper Trippoli Witney.
Kirsty Barton then took advantage of a loose ball inside the box, but scuffed her shot and allowed Lauren Gage to clear the danger.
Albion continued to play some superb passing football throughout the first half, as Jay Blackie was picked out on the edge of the area, but her shot hit the roof of the net.
The visitors rarely threatened the Albion goal and their only chance of note came when Sophie Fogarty took advantage of a defensive slip-up but her shot from distance went over the bar.
The Seagulls stepped up the pressure as half-time approached; Witney had to be alert to deny Amy Green from inside the box, before tipping behind Perry’s free-kick.
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Rangers could have been down to ten players when Witney brought down Somes on the edge of the box, but referee David Simpson brandished a yellow rather than a red card.
James Marrs’s side had a golden opportunity to score seconds before the half-time whistle as Gurr headed over the bar from Perry’s cross.
But Albion soon hit their stride after the re-start and broke the deadlock when Somes latched onto Faye Baker’s long ball and kept her composure to lob the ball over Witney.
The hosts continued to dominate proceedings as Green picked out Perry on the left-hand side only to see her cross hit the side-netting.
The Seagulls doubled their advantage, and effectively ended the game as a contest, just past the hour mark, when Somes fired home a shot on the rebound - her tenth of the season.
Danielle Carlton came off from the bench to make her Albion debut after recovering from a knee injury and could have made it a goalscoring start with a shot from distance, but Witney was equal to her drive.
Charlotte Owen could have added extra gloss to the scoreline when her ball into the box hit the crossbar, but the score remained 2-0.
ALBION: Baker (GK); Perry, D. Cooper, C. Cooper, Boswell, Somes; Barton (Carlton 77), Blackie, Green (Gibbons 71); Owen, Gurr (Baker-Carroll 82).