Maya Le Tissier netted a delightful first goal of the season as Albion made it back-to-back WSL wins.
In an entertaining game at the Banks’s Stadium, the highly-rated defender showed her class to sweep home a half-volley with 28 minutes on the clock.
Clearly buoyed by their previous win against Reading, Hope Powell’s side should have won the game more comfortably, but the three points were richly deserved and lifted the side to sixth in the table, with Le Tissier also named player of the match.
The Seagulls, wearing their yellow and blue third kit as a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, made a bright start to the game.
Geummin Lee saw a drive from the edge of the box deflected wide and from the resulting Megan Connolly corner, Kayleigh Green was involved in a goalmouth scramble and the ball was cleared.
There was further frustration for Green on eight minutes when she rose superbly to head home an inswinging Connolly free-kick, but her effort was disallowed for an extremely tight offside call.
The game began to ebb and flow with Alisha Lehmann cutting in from the right, only to see her low drive well held by Albion keeper Megan Walsh.
Albion always looked a threat through the quality of Connolly’s deliveries and the deadlock was broken when her corner from the right was coolly tucked home by Le Tissier. It was Albion’s seventh set-piece goal of the WSL season – the highest in the division.
Villa’s best effort of the half came on 37 minutes when Sarah Mayling’s thumping drive was beaten out by Walsh, who then performed further heroics to smother the follow-up by Ramona Petzelberger.
Albion missed a golden opportunity to extend their lead four minutes before the break when Emma Kullberg found herself one-on-one with Hannah Hampton, but the Villa keeper got down well to tip the goalbound effort wide.
The opening exchanges of the second half saw Mayumi Pacheco try her luck from distance for the hosts while Lee drove wide of the target for the Seagulls.
Albion then missed another chance to extend their lead when Lee was teed up inside the box by Aileen Whelan but fired her close-range effort high and wide of the target.
Anna Patten then headed a Lehmann corner onto the roof of the net as concerns grew that Albion would be left to rue their misses.
The angst only heightened when Connolly fed Ellie Brazil in the 83rd minute but the sub lifted the ball over the bar from six yards out with just the keeper to beat.
Villa continued to push for an equaliser but Albion held out to register their seventh league win of the season.
Albion: Walsh, Koivisto, Le Tissier, Williams, Kullberg, Gibbons (Kaagman 64), Whelan, Lee (Zigiotti 75), Connolly, Green (Brazil 64), Carter.
Unused subs: Startup, Kerkdijk, Bance, Symonds, Bowman, Simpkins.