- Sophie Perry, Kate Natkiel (2), Jodie Brett and Fliss Gibbons all on target
- Abigail Mason and Maya Le Tissier make their debuts
- Chloe Burr scores for Palace
- The Seagulls are next in action against Chelsea on Sunday
Brighton & Hove Albion kept their FA Continental Tyres Cup hopes alive with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Crystal Palace at the Broadfield Stadium.
Kate Natkiel’s brace along with a goal each from Sophie Perry, Jodie Brett and Fliss Gibbons gave Albion a convincing win to ensure they remain within a shout of progressing through to the knockout stages.
Albion created their first chance inside 20 seconds when Natkiel was found in space deep inside the box, but she fired her close-range effort straight at Shannell Salgado.
The deadlock was broken in the 12th minute courtesy of Perry, who saw her first shot saved by Salgado before firing home on the rebound.
Perry had a golden opportunity to double Albion’s lead just moments later, but fired wide at the far post following Natkiel’s cross from the right flank.
Ellie Brazil then raced forward on goal with just Salgado left beat, but was tackled at the last moment by Megan Chandler.
Palace struggled to make any inroads towards the Albion goal, but Andrea Georgiou gave Lucy Gillett something to think about with her shot from distance that had the Seagulls shot-stopper scrambling towards her right post.
Albion broke forward against the Palace defence at will, as Brazil raced forward after being played through on goal by Emily Simpkins, only to see her effort go over the bar.
Powell’s side doubled their lead with 38 minutes played courtesy of Natkiel, whose first strike was saved before the forward scored at the second attempt on the rebound.
It was three just a couple of minutes later, this time through Brett, who raced through one-v-one with Salgado, and clinically fired home.
The Palace defence couldn’t cope with Albion’s pace upfront, and this time Simpkins was allowed to dart through on goal and saw her resulting effort go wide.
Natkiel put the result beyond all doubt with 64 minutes played, as she showed brilliant composure inside the box to curl a left-footed strike beyond Salgado’s reach.
The Seagulls got a fifth goal in the 72nd minute thanks to Gibbons, who displayed some brilliant persistence to make a driving run from defence and shot past Salgado.
Aileen Whelan was introduced from the bench in place of Brazil and almost got her name on the scoresheet straight away, but her curling strike was superbly pushed away by Salgado.
Burr almost got a stunning consolation goal when her curling strike cannoned off the crossbar, in what was the closest Palace had come to scoring all game up to that point.
But Burr wasn’t to be denied moments later and gave the visitors the last word, after slotting home from close range to make it 5-1 with 85 minutes played.
The game finished 5-1 and Albion head into their final Continental Cup match away at Yeovil Town next Wednesday still in contention of claiming a place in the knockout stages.
ALBION: Gillett; Mason, Rafferty (Williams 86), Le Tissier, Gibbons; Simpkins, Legg, Brett; Natkiel, Brazil (A.Whelan 69), Perry.
SUBS NOT USED: Harris (GK), Barton, Peplow, Umotong, Green.