- Albion secure their first win of the season
- Ini Umotong, Ellie Brazil and Aileen Whelan all on target
- Paula Howells scores for Bees
- The Seagulls are next in action on Wednesday away at Birmingham City
Brighton & Hove Albion got their FA Continental Tyres League Cup campaign back on track and secured a first win of the season in all competitions, with a 3-1 victory over London Bees at the Broadfield Stadium.
Goals from Ini Umotong, Ellie Brazil and Aileen Whelan wiped out Paula Howells’s opener to keep Albion in contention for a top-two finish and a place in the knockout stages, with three group matches remaining.
Hope Powell made five changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Bristol City last Sunday, with Lucy Gillett, Sophie Perry, Kirsty Barton, Jodie Brett and Ini Umotong all coming into the side.
Albion took the game to Bees from the start, as Brett tried her luck from distance with a shot inside the opening two minutes that was saved by Sarah Quantrill.
Perry then saw her close-range effort go wide, before Danielle Buet’s long-range strike just cleared the bar.
Aileen Whelan led Albion’s attack with a run down the right and picked out Kate Natkiel, whose strike from a central position forced Quantrill into a two-handed save.
But despite Albion’s dominance it was the Bees that took a surprise lead through former Seagull Howells.
The forward was picked out in space on the right, and she sent a left-footed strike past Gillett to put the north Londoners 1-0 up with 22 minutes played.
Powell’s team were back on the attack though and Laura Rafferty could have headed Albion back on level terms, but couldn’t quite make a decent connection with Perry’s corner.
The visitors’ lead only lasted for five minutes though, as Umotong showed good strength to evade a challenge and fire a close-range strike beyond Quantrill.
Buet had another chance with a shot from distance, before the game was turned on its head thanks to Brazil’s first goal for the club. The forward nodded in Perry’s cross from the left flank to make it 2-1 with 36 minutes played.
The lead was almost wiped out two minutes before the interval when the ball fell to Katie Wilkinson inside the box, but she lost her balance upon striking the ball and Gillett made a comfortable stop.
Umotong had Albion’s first meaningful opportunity after the break, as she was allowed to turn outside the box but saw her resulting shot pushed away by Quantrill.
The visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure and wasted a golden opportunity to level the scores when Eloise Wilson headed wide from Emma Beckett’s dangerous corner into the area.
There were further nervous moments for the Seagulls when Wilkinson reacted quickest to a defensive mistake and fired just wide of the target.
The Bees number nine was then played through on goal just moments later but was denied thanks to Gillett’s fine save.
It was the Seagulls who got the third and decisive goal of the game with two minutes remaining, as Whelan was played through down the left and scored with a superb finish from a tight angle to make the final score 3-1.
ALBION: Gillett; Barton, Williams (F Whelan 89), Rafferty Perry; Brett, Buet, Natkiel; A. Whelan Umotong (Peplow 65), Brazil.
SUBS NOT USED: Hartley (GK), Roe, Gibbons, Nilden, Green.