By Logan MacLeod
Brighton and Hove Albion striker Kayleigh Green bagged a brace to help give her team their first Women's Super League win of the season.
Green smashed home a penalty in front of the 4,130 in attendance at the Amex and later capped off an impressive display by converting a Lea Le Garrec corner during the 3-0 victory against Birmingham.
Le Garrec, the new summer signing from Guingamp, also impressed and provided the second of the three goals with a sublime effort from 25-yards-out, which went spectacularly in off the underside of the bar.
Green said after the game, "It was fantastic today. When the crowd turns up and they bring the noise it's phenomenal. Credit to the girls, we've turned up today and took the three points. That takes a little bit of pressure of ourselves.
"As a centre-forward you always want to score goals. I've been scoring goals in the cup games but in the league it's been a bit dry for me. So for me I feel fantastic I've put two goals away today.
"It's always good to get a win and when it's in an incredible stadium like this with an incredible crowd it makes the day even more special. It still wasn't our best performance, but that's being very critical. But we took the three points, got the three goals and a clean sheet, which is fantastic.
"She [Le Garrec] pulls that off in training all the time. I'm sure we're going to see more of them."
Green had to wait for about five minutes for Ellie Brazil to receive on-field treatment before taking the penalty. She said, "It was just about making sure I'm focused and when I put that ball down it's just, take a breather, stay composed and know what corner I'm going to."
The crucial victory moves Brighton up to ninth in the league standings on five points from their first six matches.
Hope Powell said after the game, "We did well. We had a game plan and we worked towards that game plan. At times they executed that well and other times not so well. There's still stuff to work on. I think the nice thing about today is we scored from open play - Lea's goal was fantastic. It's quite encouraging, and most importantly we didn't concede and even more importantly we got the three points.
"It's a really good day for us today. Much needed three points and I'm very, very pleased. She's [Le Garrec] highly technical, she gave us a little more creativity. That's why we went for her and got her at the club. Fabulous player and she's fitted in very well.
"It's a big win. We're still in a dog fight make no mistake. The league is very tough, there is no absolute guarantee that you're going to win, you're going to lose. I have to say thank you to the crowd, they were very, very lively. They gave us a lot of encouragement and the girls wanted to play for them as much as for themselves."
Goalscorer Lea Le Garrec said after the game, "I'm very happy for today, it was a great game and good result for everybody. We had a good attitude and it was very nice pitch to play on today.
"We work every day, very hard and today it is a really magnificent result. Three points, it's good for the confidence. I see my goal during the half-time. It's right, it's a great goal. When you play it's very quick so you don't have time for reflection. But I think it's a great goal.
"Hope Powell asks me every game to be box-to-box, defend and attack. So sometimes it is very hard because when I attack, sometimes, it is very hard to defend again quickly. I try every game to be disciplined."
Brighton's next WSL game is away at London Bees on Wednesday, November 20. Kick-off is at 7:45pm at The Hive Stadium.
ALBION: Walsh; Barton, F. Whelan, Le Tissier, Gibbons; Brazil (Lundorf 20), Bowman (Nilden 78), Simpkins, A. Whelan; Le Garrec, Green.
SUBS NOT USED: Harris, Natkiel, Kerkdijk, Williams, Bance.