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Match Reports


25 March 2018

Joe Smart
Ini Umotong in action against Sheffield.
  • Albion move up to third in the FA WSL 2 table
  • Ini Umotong, Kate Natkiel, Aileen Whelan and Danielle Buet on target
  • Melissa Johnson scores a late consolation for Sheffield from the spot
  • The Seagulls are next in action away at Watford on Thursday

Brighton & Hove Albion continued their FA WSL 2 title push and moved up to third in the table with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Sheffield FC at the Coach and Horses Ground.

Goals from Ini Umotong, Kate Natkiel, Aileen Whelan and Danielle Buet’s penalty put Albion 4-0 up, before Melissa Johnson struck a late spot-kick herself to make the final score 4-1.

Albion made a bright start to the game and created their first opening with three minutes on the clock, as the ball fell to Amanda Nilden deep inside the area after a sweeping move, but she fired her cross-shot wide.

Umotong made a surging run towards the edge of the area, only to see her tame strike comfortably gathered by Danielle Gibbons in the Sheffield goal.

Hope Powell’s side made another break forward, resulting in Umotong holding the ball up for Natkiel to strike, but the latter stretched to meet the ball and shot wide.

The Seagulls were getting a lot of joy in the wide areas and broke forward through Fliss Gibbons down the left, and her subsequent cross agonisingly flashed across the face of goal.

Natkiel then had another chance to break the deadlock with a curling attempt from distance that failed to find the target.

But Albion took a deserved lead just past the half-hour mark, as Nilden curled an enticing delivery towards Umotong, who headed the ball home from close range.

Whelan had a golden opportunity to double the lead moments later after being found unmarked inside the area, but Gibbons made a fine two-handed stop from point-blank range.

The visitors made the livelier start after the break, as Ellie Gilliatt made a weaving run down the left-hand side, and saw her cross narrowly missed Katie Anderson in the area.

But Albion struck next thanks to Natkiel, who latched on to Chloe Peplow’s deep ball into the box, took a touch and coolly fired home past Gibbons with 57 minutes on the clock.

The deficit was almost halved less than a minute later through Anderson, but Marie Hourihan reacted well with a smart save at her near post.

The game was effectively ended as a contest with 76 minutes played thanks to Whelan, who brilliantly turned in an in-swinging cross from close range to make it 3-0.

Buet also got in the act from the penalty spot to make the score 4-0 in the 87th minute, but it was Sheffield that had the last word with a spot-kick of their own.

Buet was penalised for a challenge on Emma Johnson inside the box, and her namesake Melissa fired the ball home past Hourihan in the 90th minute.

ALBION: Hourihan; Perry, Buet, Rafferty, Gibbons; Peplow, Natkiel, Barton (Legg 79); A. Whelan, Umotong (Somes 65), Nilden (Pharoah).

SUB NOT USED: Gillett (GK).

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