WIVELSFIELD GREEN 2
Gardiner '5, '66
Blackie '14, '33, '52
Baker-Carroll '18, '63, '89
Hughes (OG) '28
Brighton & Hove Albion women progressed into the Sussex Challenge Cup second round following a professional victory over Wivelsfield Green at Hanbury Stadium.
Nine changes were made to the starting line-up that beat Derby County in the Premier League Cup last Sunday, with Chloe Lelliot and Megan Fox making their first-team debuts.
With manager James Marrs away managing the development squad's match against Lewes, Dan Wright took charge of Albion for the first time. His side were trailing inside the opening five minutes, when Jade Gardiner gave Wivelsfield a shock lead after sliding home Leigh Farley’s cross at the far post.
The lead lasted barely 60 seconds though, as Amy Potkins latched onto a loose ball following in Jay Blackie’s initial shot to bring Albion level.
Orla Dimond then saw her long-range strike hit the crossbar, before Blackie gave the Seagulls the lead for the first time with a shot past Green keeper Helen Bashford.
The Seagulls made their lead more comfortable with two goals in as many minutes; Paige Baker-Carroll netted Albion’s third with an effort from inside the box, before Sophie Perry added a fourth with a superb angled strike.
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Perry played a key role in Albion’s fifth goal, as her shot was parried away into the path of defender Kim Hughes, who inadvertently deflected the ball into the net.
Skipper Blackie nodded home the sixth goal in the 37th minute before completing her hat-trick just after the restart.
Baker-Carroll scored her second and Albion’s eighth after linking up well with Fox, but it was Wivelsfield who struck again through Gardiner after she reacted the quickest to a defensive slip up.
Wivelsfield keeper, Bashford, was arguably the best player for the hosts, but she had to be replaced 15 minutes from time after clashing with Amy Taylor, and with no substitute goalkeeper, Sarah Smart took her place in goal for the Penguins and she had to make a fine save to deny Taylor at point-blank range.
There was still time for Albion to net a ninth goal, as Baker-Carroll completed her hat-trick to give Albion a comfortable victory.
ALBION: Tower; Perry, Lelliot, Taylor, Rowe; Barton, Blackie, Dimond, Potkins; Baker-Carroll, Fox.