FOREST GREEN 1
D Cooper 40
- Albion claim an eighth consecutive victory
- Deanna Cooper, Charlotte Gurr, Lucy Somes and Lisa Fulgence all on target
- Kirsty Richardson pulls one back for Forest Green
- Jade Widdows makes her Brighton debut
Brighton & Hove Albion women maintained their impressive charge for the Premier League Southern Division title with a convincing 4-1 win over Forest Green Rovers at Hartpury College.
Goals from Deanna Cooper, Charlotte Gurr, Lucy Somes and Lisa Fulgence secured an emphatic victory, which was made all the more important with title rivals Cardiff also winning 3-1 at Lewes.
Manager James Marrs gave Jade Widdows her debut in a second spell at the club, while England under-17 international Hollie Olding started on the bench.
The first half was a rather cagey affair with few chances for either side, despite Albion dominating possession.
The Rovers defence stood firm until the 40th minute, when Gurr’s perfectly-weighted corner into the box was met by an onrushing Deanna Cooper to give Albion the lead.
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But the hosts refused to lie down and were given the chance to equalise five minutes into the second half, after Emily Baker was penalised for a handball inside the area.
Kirsty Richardson stepped up and duly dispatched the subsequent penalty to level the scores.
Annie Martin could have given Forest Green an unlikely lead, but keeper Faye Baker was on hand to make a superb save.
But the Seagulls were determined to claim all three points and Marrs bolstered the forward line by bringing on both Amy Taylor and Lisa Fulgence to replace Widdows and Baker.
Albion went close to re-establishing their lead, as Gurr and Jay Blackie both headed over the bar.
But Gurr gave Brighton the lead once again after she fired home from a fine cross by Charley Boswell with ten minutes of normal time remaining.
The Seagulls put the game out of sight five minutes later through Lucy Somes, who made it 3-1.
There was still time to add extra gloss to the score-line, as Fulgence came off the bench to score for the fourth consecutive game to make it 4-1 to Brighton.
ALBION: F Baker; E Baker (Fulgence 60), D Cooper, Ashton-Jones; Boswell, Barton, Blackie, Somes, Gurr; Natkiel (Olding 85), Widdows (Taylor 60).
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