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Match Reports

WOMEN REPORT: ARSENAL 4 ALBION 1

25 November 2018

Geoff Penn
Kirsty Barton battling for possession.
  • Ini Umotong gives the Seagulls an early lead
  • Vivianne Miedema, Dominique Bloodworth and Danielle van de Donk on the scoresheet for the hosts
  • Beth Mead adds a late fourth for Arsenal
  • Albion are back in FA WSL action next Sunday against West Ham United

Brighton & Hove Albion suffered a second successive 4-1 defeat in the FA Women’s Super League, despite taking the lead against league leaders Arsenal.

It was always going to be a tough test for Hope Powell’s side, with the Gunners boasting a 100 percent record in the league so far this season.

Powell made two changes from last week’s 4-1 defeat to Reading with Jenna Legg and Kayleigh Green coming in for Jodie Brett and the injured captain Dani Buet.

The hosts started quickly and fashioned their first chance in the opening seconds, but the Albion defence did well to stop Vivianne Miedema converting her opportunity.

After a shaky first few opening minutes, Albion began to find their feet and managed to retain possession.

With nine minutes on the clock, a ball over the top of the Arsenal defence released Ini Umotong, who held off Arsenal captain Leah Williamson and confidently slotted the ball past Sari van Veenendaal in the Arsenal goal.

Albion could have doubled their advantage minutes later when Chloe Peplow’s free-kick found Umotong in the penalty area and her resulting header found its way to Victoria Williams,  who headed just wide.

The Seagulls matched their opponent’s efforts as the first half continued, but the defence was finally breached on 23 minutes after the ball ran loose in the Albion defence and Miedema made no mistake this time with the finish.

The hosts then began to find their rhythm and just ten minutes later they took the lead. Miedema this time was the provider, as her low cross picked out Dominique Bloodworth, who turned in a left-footed effort from six yards out.

Arsenal kept applying the pressure, forcing Marie Hourihan into a number of smart saves at her near post.

However Hourihan was beaten once more after Danielle van de Donk nodded in from a corner, despite doing well to keep out Beth Mead’s shot just seconds earlier.

The hosts started the second half very much how they started the first with a chance just seconds after kick-off. Albion struggled to clear their lines and the ball found its way to Lisa Evans, who could only put her shot wide.

Despite this, Albion managed to hold their own and restrict Arsenal to shots from wide angles, relieving Hourihan of some pressure, but were still unable to create a clear chance of their own.

It wasn’t until the 69th minute that the hosts managed to create a clear-cut chance for themselves. Lia Walti found space in the box, but hooked her left-footed effort wide. The Gunners then followed this up with a cleverly played quick free-kick that set Miedema through on goal, but Hourihan was on hand once more to deny the Netherlands international a second goal.

Albion carved out a rare chance of their own on 75 minutes when Ellie Brazil’s cross from the right found Umotong in the area, but her header flashed inches wide of the goal.

Arsenal rounded off their victory in the 80th minute when Mead cut in from the left side of the area and looped an effort over Hourihan.

Albion's focus now switches to next week’s match against fellow FA Women’s Super League newcomers West Ham United at the Broadfield Stadium.

ALBION: Hourihan; Barton, Williams, Rafferty, Perry; Peplow, Legg (Brazil 46), Green (Brett 85); Natkiel, Umotong, A. Whelan

SUBS NOT USED: Gillett (GK), Harris (GK), Gibbons, Simpkins, Le Tissier

Tickets are on sale for Albion’s next FA Women’s Super League match against West Ham United on Sunday, 2 December at the Broadfield Stadium, kick-off 2pm. Buy yours in advance on line at BrightonAndHoveAlbion.com/tickets. Prices start from £7 for adults and £3 for under-10s.


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