Owen '29, '68
- Albion record their joint-biggest league win of the season.
- Charlotte Gurr, Charlotte Owen (2), Deanna Cooper and Jay Blackie all on the scoresheet.
- Victory is Albion’s 11th in 15 league games.
- Naomi Clipson misses a penalty for Cardiff in the closing stages.
Brighton & Hove Albion women returned to winning ways following an emphatic 5-0 victory over league leaders Cardiff City Ladies, at the American Express Elite Football Centre.
The win is Albion’s joint-biggest in the league to date following a 5-0 win over Plymouth in September and moves them to within a point of the South Wales side.
Albion were on the front foot straight from kick-off and created a clear-cut opportunity inside the opening ten minutes, as Lucy Somes headed over from Charlotte Gurr’s cross.
Charlotte Owen then had two quick-fire chances to break the deadlock, seeing her shot deflect wide of the post before shooting straight at Cardiff keeper Alesha McGlynn.
The Seagulls took the lead in the 13th minute when Gurr tapped the ball home from close range following Sophie Perry’s cross from the right-hand side.
But James Marrs’s side were dealt a blow as Amy Green was forced off injured following a crunching challenge from Hannah Mills and had to be replaced by Danielle Rowe.
Gurr then had two attempts to double Albion’s advantage from two free-kicks, before setting up Owen for Brighton’s second.
The forward swung in a corner from the left-hand side and powered home a header past McGlynn after 29 minutes.
The Seagulls added a third goal from another set-piece just six minutes later, as Deanna Cooper sprung into the air and headed the ball beyond McGlynn.
Marrs’s side continued to press forward in a bid to extend their lead before the break, as Gurr came close again with two more attempts on goal, while Somes saw her stunning volley tipped away to safety by McGlynn.
Owen could have netted her second in emphatic fashion just before the break only to see her speculative strike from distance saved.
Cardiff had few noteworthy chances in the opening 45 minutes, the best of which fell to Michelle Green, but she skewed a shot wide of the left-hand post.
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The Bluebirds made a brighter start to the second 45 minutes and put the Seagulls defence under a spell of pressure, as Green headed over the bar. Kelly Isaac then fired a free-kick wide and over the target.
Kirsty Barton was next to threaten the Cardiff goal and forced McGlynn into another save after being teed up for a shot by Rowe on the edge of the box.
Albion effectively killed the game off a contest thanks to two goals in the space of three minutes from Owen and Jay Blackie.
Owen ended a superb free-flowing Seagulls move by tapping the ball home from close range after reacting quickest to Barton’s shot which cannoned off the crossbar.
Blackie then scored the fifth when her looping strike from the left-hand side dipped above and beyond McGlynn.
The visitors still pressed forward to try and make the scoreline more respectable and had a golden opportunity to get on the scoresheet through Zoe Atkins, but her shot was superbly cleared off the line by Cooper.
The Bluebirds had another chance to score a consolation goal when Naomi Clipson was brought down inside the box, before stepping up and blazing the resulting spot-kick over the crossbar.
ALBION: Baker (GK); Taylor, Ashton-Jones, Cooper, Somes; Perry, Barton, Blackie, Gurr, Owen (Baker-Carroll 89), Green (Rowe 22). Sub not used: Boswell.