Brighton & Hove Albion women made it four victories in a row to move second in the Premier League Southern Division table, with an impressive 5-1 victory over Charlton Athletic at Culver Road.
Five goals, from five different players - Fliss Gibbons, Lucy Somes, Kirsty Barton, Jay Blackie and Charley Boswell - were more than enough to see the Seagulls leapfrog the Addicks into second and helped to erase the painful memory of a 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture last month.
The game started in a cagey style with few chances for both teams. Charlotte Gurr had an opportunity to break the deadlock in the seventh minute from Amy Taylor’s cross, but the forward could not bring the ball under control and Addicks keeper Megen Lynch claimed the loose ball.
The visitors were then dealt an early blow when Gemma Shepherd was forced off injured, but they could have taken the lead moments later as Kit Graham’s swinging cross from the left-hand side almost beat Faye Baker at her near post.
It was Albion who opened the scoring in the 26th minute, when Gibbons took advantage of some indecisive Charlton defending and coolly slotted the ball past Lynch.
The Seagulls could have doubled their advantage just a couple of minutes later, as Sophie Perry’s free-kick took an awkward bounce before going past Lynch at the near post.
Charlton had a golden opportunity to level the scores just two minutes after the restart when Graham rounded Baker inside the box, but her effort was deflected over the bar by Catherine Cooper.
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Gibbons and then Somes both came close to scoring a second Albion goal, before the Addicks were given a penalty when referee Paul Barratt pointed to the spot and booked Baker for a challenge on Graham inside the box.
Samantha Pittuck stepped up and saw her resulting spot-kick saved by Baker who pushed the penalty behind to safety.
Albion punished Charlton for that penalty miss by doubling their advantage in the 67th minute when Somes fired home on the rebound after Gibbons’s initial effort.
A third goal came just three minutes later, as substitute Boswell found Barton inside the box and the latter showed some neat footwork to rifle a shot past Lynch and effectively end the game as a contest.
Blackie made it 4-0 in the 74th minute with a composed finish to add extra gloss to the scoreline, but the Addicks got off the mark themselves just a minute later through Pittuck’s close-range strike.
Albion had the last word though, as Boswell raced through on goal from the right and lifted the ball over Lynch to complete a comprehensive victory.
ALBION: Baker; Perry, D. Cooper, C. Cooper, Taylor (Boswell 65), Somes; Blackie, Green, Barton; Gibbons. Gurr (Owen 75). Subs not used: Carter, Baker-Carroll, Davis.