Brighton & Hove Albion won the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup on Thursday night for the second year in a row after beating Crawley Wasps 0-3.
This is Brighton’s nineteenth Women’s Cup win in their history, and they secured it in front of 280 fans at Culver Road, plus many more tuning in online to the live stream.
The Wasps put up a solid fight, but they simply were unable to cope with the speed and clinical nature of Brighton’s play; and more specifically with Leah Lane and Chelsea Ferguson, the evening’s goal-scorers.
Crawley began the game convincingly, pressing as a team and creating several good chances, with Natalie Taylor missing the goal by mere centimeters just after three minutes.
However, Brighton soon found their groove, combing well and getting the ball into dangerous areas.
The turning point of the half came when Crawley’s Holly Talbut-Smith gave away a penalty when the ball struck her arm after some unfortunate miss control.
Brighton’s Lane stepped up, held her nerve, and slotted the penalty home in the 14th minute.
Crawley did not deflate, however, and continued pressing Brighton into their half, with captain Buyukgiray continuing to be their most dangerous attacking threat, with one shot well struck from distance, but was well covered by Brighton’s keeper Frankie Angel.
Yet with the seconds ticking down to half-time, Buyukgiray was gifted an opportunity to get Wasps level, as a poor pass from Angel fell to her, but was unable to keep her powerfully struck effort on target.
The break saw Brighton leading 0-1 thanks to Lane’s penalty, but the first-half was quite an even contest for both sides.