We secured our first win of 2022 on Thursday night as we defeated Brighton 2-1 at Meadow Park.
Rafaelle Souza and Laura Wienroither both impressed on their full debuts, while Beth Mead equalled the FA WSL’s all-time assist record.
We made a fast start on the night with plenty of promising attacking play and Vivianne Miedema coming close with her guided header - but it was the visitors who opened the scoring and it arrived against the run of play.
After a controversial free-kick was awarded 30 yards from goal for handball, Inessa Kaagman delivered a floated cross into the penalty area and Emma Koivisto was on hand to head past Manuela Zinsberger.
That goal took the wind out of our sails and throughout the remainder of the first-half, we failed to create a clear-cut opportunity with Brighton maintaining their compact defensive shape.
This could have frustrated us going into the second half, but instead, we returned to the field full of confidence and with greater intensity to our play, before securing a deserved equaliser just five minutes after the restart.
Standing over a free-kick, Mead whipped an inch-perfect delivery across the face of the Brighton goal and Miedema was well-placed to fire home from close range.
That stunning cross ensured that Mead is now level with Karen Carney for providing the most assists in FA WSL history (35).
Mead wasn’t done there, though, and this time she went for goal herself with a free-kick on the edge of the area, firing a stunning curling effort into the top right corner.
Tobin Heath, Miedema and Jordan Nobbs all had chances to make it three in the closing stages, but in the end, a blistering five-minute spell and a complete team performance was enough to secure all three points.
WHAT IT MEANS
We must now prepare to host London City Lionesses in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday.
The game will take place at Meadow Park with kick-off at 12.30pm (UK time).
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