Albion are off the bottom of the Barclays Women’s Super League after a deserved 3-2 win over Everton at the Broadfield Stadium.
New head coach Melissa Phillips was in charge for her first league game and she will have been delighted with Albion’s performance as they claimed their first WSL victory since November.
Elisabeth Terland put us in front with an early header before Katie Robinson doubled the lead just before the break.
Katja Snoeijs twice netted for Everton in the second half but Terland got her second of the game and seventh of the season in between as Albion moved up to tenth in the table.
Albion lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Terland leading the line and they were on top from the start. The Norway striker had an effort after 25 seconds which may have gone well over but it was a signal of the intensity they had brought to the game.
Robinson dragged a right-foot shot just wide before the deadlock was deservedly broken on 12 minutes. Geummin Lee won a free-kick just inside the right-hand side which was a perfect position for Poppy Pattinson. She duly delivered with her left foot and Terland rose to direct a firm header inside the right-hand post.
It set the tone for a dynamic first-half by Albion. Everton keeper Courtney Bresnan made an important save at Vea Sarri’s feet after good work in the box by Lee while at the other end, when Everton threatened, Lydia Williams got behind efforts from Jess Park and Aurora Galli, who perhaps should have done better after controlling Nicoline Sorensen’s cross.
Albion doubled their lead two minutes before the break. Megan Connolly’s pass set up a foot race between Robinson and Megan Finnigan down the middle. Robinson got in front and when Bresnan came racing out of goal Robinson lifted the ball over her and into an empty net. Robinson got a whack in the ribs for her troubles but will consider it worthwhile after scoring her fifth goal of the season.
Vea Sarri wasn’t far away with a powerful drive after she had been teed up by Lee’s clever pass but Albion struggled to play with the intensity of their first-half performance and Everton pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute when Snoelis was given too much space on the right and she created space to roll a shot into the bottom corner.
Phillips made changes midway through the second period with Kayleigh Green and Danielle Carter coming on but the visitors were beginning to get on top.
Snoelis nearly scored again in the 73rd minute when she broke into the box only to see her low shot come back off the post and three minutes later England striker Jess Parker lifted Sorensen’s cross over from inside the six-yard box when anything on target would have been a goal.
It was to be a pivotal moment when Albion restored their two-goal advantage with 11 minutes to go. Connolly again supplied the ammunition with a lovely pass down the right to Green. She broke into the box and then picked out Terland ten yards out and the Norway striker coolly picked her spot.
Back came Everton. Within three minutes they had reduced the deficit for the second time when Albion failed to clear a ball down their left and Snoelis coolly side-footed into the far corner to make it 3-2.
There were nine minutes of stoppage time to negotiate and Agnes Beever-Jones went close with a header from a free kick but Albion got the job done.
Albion: L. Williams, Fox, Morse, Kullberg, Pattinson, Bance (Stefanovic 90+7), Connolly ©, Sarri (Green 66), Lee (Carter 70), Terland, Robinson (Vasalli 90+7).
Subs not used: Walsh, Stott, Park, V. Williams, Startup.
Referee: Lauren Impey