Albion have retained the Sussex Challenge Cup.
Thomas 16, 27, 40
CRAWLEY WASPS 1
- Albion retain the Sussex Challenge Cup
- Bronwen Thomas scores a hat-trick
- Ellie Dorey and Kim Stenning also on target for Albion
- Rebecca Carter scores a consolation goal for Crawley
Brighton & Hove Albion women successfully retained the Sussex Challenge Cup with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Crawley Wasps.
A hat-trick from Bronwen Thomas and a goal each from Ellie Dorey and Kim Stenning ensured Albion claimed the trophy for the fifth time in the last seven years.
James Marrs's side were dominant straight from the kick-off, as Thomas and Amy Taylor both had efforts ruled out for offside.
Thomas came closer to breaking the deadlock when she hit the crossbar from Kate Natkiel’s through ball.
It was only a matter of time until the breakthrough was made and Thomas coolly rounded Katherine Poleykett and slotted the ball home with 16 minutes on the clock.
The lead was doubled only two minutes later when Lucy Somes found Dorey at the far post and she fired home a shot from close range.
Taylor had a chance to make it 3-0 when she was allowed to turn inside the box, but her effort went over the crossbar.
The Natkiel-Thomas combination was in action again for Albion’s third goal, as Thomas rounded Poleykett was once more in the 27th minute.
Dorey made a surging run down the right-hand side and her tempting delivery was narrowly missed by both Taylor and Somes in the area.
The game was effectively ended as a contest in the 40th minute when Thomas capped off a memorable first-half display with another cool finish from close range.
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Marrs made one change at the break by bringing on Lily Agg for Dorey, while Wasps switched goalkeepers with Colleen Donovan replacing Poleykett.
The Seagulls sought to continue from where they left off in the first half, as Taylor headed narrowly wide from Natkiel’s corner.
Danielle Rowe was next to try her luck from distance and her speculative, looping effort rose over the target.
Donovan did well to keep the deficit at four with a fine right-handed stop to deny Thomas a fourth goal.
The Wasps shot-stopper was left clinging onto her personal clean sheet after Hollie Olding’s fierce strike cannoned off the post to safety.
Albion made a double change when Taylor and Agg, who appeared to be injured, were replaced by Lisa Fulgence and Stenning.
Stenning could have added her name to the scoresheet when she met Ellie Russell’s set-piece in the area, but the shot was easily saved by Donovan.
Thomas and Natkiel both had chances to further extend Albion’s lead, but it was Crawley that struck next in emphatic fashion.
Rebecca Carter spotted Nina Wilson off her line and her perfectly executed lob from at least 30 yards out made it 4-1 in the 82nd minute.
But it was Albion that had the final say in the 87th minute when Stenning scored from close range to end a comfortable evening for the Seagulls.
ALBION: Wilson; Russell, E Baker, Olding; Dorey (Agg 45 (Fulgence 62)), C Cooper, Rowe, Somes; Natkiel, Thomas, Taylor (Stenning 62).
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