Albion women have progressed to the Sussex Challenge Cup Final.
Somes 9, 71, 86
Fulgence 44, 58
N Taylor 80
- Albion progress to the Sussex Challenge Cup Final
- Lucy Somes (3), Kirsty Barton, Lisa Fulgence (2) on target for the Seagulls
- Albion have scored 28 goals in their last four games
- Natalie Taylor scores on her first-team debut
Brighton & Hove Albion women progressed to the Sussex Challenge Cup Final with a comprehensive 7-1 victory over Chichester City at Culver Road.
Albion knocked Chichester out of the Premier League Cup with a 6-0 win last November and they made it a cup double over City with a comfortable semi-final victory.
It was a memorable game for Charlotte Sole, who was named in the starting line-up for the first time since May 2014 after recovering from a long-term shoulder injury.
Some familiar faces were amongst the Chichester ranks, including former Seagulls Lauren Cheshire and Amy Found.
Brighton almost took the lead in the opening five minutes, but Sophie Perry was denied by the crossbar after getting on the end of a Charlotte Gurr cross.
The Republic of Ireland international hit the woodwork again four minutes later, but this time Lucy Somes was on hand to hammer in the rebound in the ninth minute.
Kirsty Barton doubled Albion’s advantage on the half-hour mark, as her drilled shot beat Sally Thompson in the Chichester goal from 25-yards out.
The visitors began to press higher up the field in search of a response, but that opened up space in behind for Albion’s talented midfielders to work their magic.
Lisa Fulgence scored for the sixth consecutive game to make Albion’s lead more comfortable just before the break. The striker slotted past Thompson after Somes’s shot had landed at her feet.
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Chichester did continue to press though and found a way back into the game when Found’s curling 35-yard free kick lobbed Sole and made the score 3-1 after 51 minutes.
Albion’s three-goal cushion was restored just seven minutes later, when Fulgence finished after fantastic build-up play between Gurr, Somes, and Kate Natkiel.
The game was effectively ended as a contest in the 71st minute, after Somes scored her second and Albion’s fifth of the game. Gurr’s through-ball cut the Chichester defence open and Somes knocked the ball past Thompson with ease.
Natalie Taylor was introduced after 75 minutes and marked her first-team debut with a goal. She found herself alone in the middle of the box and poked the ball past Thompson to add to an already dominant performance.
There was still time for Somes to complete her hat-trick though, and she did so emphatically. Fulgence ran down the right wing and laid it on a plate for her to finish at the back post.
The Seagulls will face either Burgess Hill Town or Crawley Wasps in the Sussex Challenge Cup final, which is scheduled to be played on Thursday 10th March.
ALBION: Sole; C Cooper (E Baker 75), D Cooper, Ritchie; Perry, Barton, Somes, Rowe (A Taylor 67); Gurr; Natkiel (N Taylor 75), Fulgence.