Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Southwater Royals

Brighton victorious in Girls’ Challenge Cup

Words by Kieran Wiggs
Brighton & Hove Albion 12-0 Southwater Royals

Hat-trick heroines Lexie Attwater and Isabella Ranger put in a great display for Brighton & Hove Albion, who emerged victorious over Southwater Royals in the Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup Final (Under-15s) yesterday afternoon at Culver Road.

Brighton remained ruthless throughout the 80 minutes of football in a dominant performance, which proved too much for a spirited Southwater Royals side.

Brighton got off to a flying start when Alyssia-Mae Quashie’s shot found the net from the edge of the box which was too much for Southwater goalkeeper Grace McCall, who would have been disappointed to see the effort she got a hand to rebound in from the inside of the post.

Brighton doubled their lead when Phobe Potter’s quick feet gave her space to run into and produce a forward-thinking ball for Grace Kill to cooly finish, and Attwater made it three only minutes later poking home from Ranger’s progressive wide run and cross.

Remaining ruthless in attack, Brighton added to the tally when Asher Mwamba’s quick turn and pass found Attwater who saw her effort denied by McCall before falling to the skipper, Ranger, to fire into the net. 

A constant threat on the wing was Ranger who provided another successful cross for Attwater who complimented the cross with a great first-time finish past McCall. 

The contender for goal of the game came when Quashie struck from distance - whether it was the quick thinking or the power of the effort, it proved unstoppable. 

Ranger’s quickly taken corner and one-two with Mwamba allowed her the time for a shot-come-cross into the danger area where her curled effort looped over a crowded McCall for the seventh. 

Rising from the depths of the backline was Nazari Forbes who impressively ran through the Southwater defence before her shot rattled the bar when McCall got fingertips to the defender’s effort. 

McCall was called to the rescue again only moments later when a scrambled corner gave Isla Hubbard a snippet at goal which McCall superbly pushed around the post before the half-time whistle. 

Minutes into the restart Attwater completed her hat-trick from Mwamba’s ball before taking a clever touch to give her plenty of time to find her spot in the goal which she converted.

Hungry for more, she made it nine when Emma Watts’ shot was not pushed away enough, allowing Attwater to show that true striker’s instinct of being at the right place at the right time for a simple tap in.

The next goal came courtesy of substitute, Florence Hunt, who was found unmarked and produced a fine finish past McCall. 

Next, some quick thinking from McCall, who showed real bravery to come out and close down Tula Wedgebery’s ball to Brooke Berry, with the latter’s effort blocked by the goalkeeper who forced her into a tight angle. 

Another substitute was next on the scoresheet when a quick corner found Rayne Bryan on the edge of the box who dribbled forward and cleverly placed her effort past the Southwater defence and into the bottom corner. 

At the other end, Southwater skipper Elana Cox remained determined, chasing every ball and applying pressure on the Brighton backline but sadly never saw her hard work pay off. 

Ranger achieved her hat-trick a minute before the final whistle with a cool finish past McCall after an impressive build up to round off a dominant performance. 

Speaking following the full-time whistle, Brighton & Hove Albion Manager, Lewis Walter said: “It was really important for the girls to make sure that we stuck to the way we play and stick to the values that we stand by. 

“I think we did that especially regardless of the score line they were consistently clapping the Southwater girls and making sure that they were okay.

“They (Attwater and Ranger) are both best mates - them working with each other and both getting the hat-trick ball is really good for them both.

“It was good (the support) seeing 236 - a great occasion for everyone involved so I can’t complain.”

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Southwater Royals
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Southwater Royals - 24-03-24
Highlights of the Sussex Girls' Challenge Cup Final - Powered by Your Instant Replay!

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)

(Video highlights are available above and on YouTube - courtesy of Your Instant Replay)

Stats (Brighton & Hove Albion-Southwater Royals): Goals (12-0), Shots (35-1), Shots on Target (27-1), Corners (13-1), Fouls (2-1), Offsides (6-1), Yellows cards (0-0), Red cards (0-0).

Brighton & Hove Albion: Lawrence (GK), Taylor-Beale, Hubbard, Watts, Kill, Ranger (C), Attwater, Quahsie, Potter, Mwamba, Forbes.
Subs: Wedgebury, Hunt, Roshad, Berry, Bryan.

Southwater Royals: McCall (GK), Macnab, Clancy, Lee, Hulcoop, Dodge, Brown, Cailes-Gentry, Cox (C), Sercombe, Atkinson-Lake.
Subs: Palmer, New, Bah.

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