Report: Brighton Women 0 United Women 2
Manchester United Women returned to winning ways in the WSL on Sunday afternoon, by defeating Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 with goals from Hayley Ladd and Vilde Boe Risa.
Marc Skinner's side were dominant for large parts of the encounter, and scored in each half to move up to fourth position in the table, ahead of Tottenham's evening trip to Aston Villa.
The Reds now have the same points tally as Brighton who remain in third place.
The Reds started the encounter in blistering fashion as inside the first two minutes, midfielder Vilde Boe Risa forced a smart double save from Albion keeper Megan Walsh. United’s no.8 was found unmarked in the penalty area early on with Walsh alert and on hand to keep the scores level.
Brighton’s first real chance came 10 minutes later, as a cross into the box from Aileen Wheelan was smartly back heeled by Geum-Min Le into the path of Megan Connolly who fired her effort over the bar.
Skinner’s side began to dictate the proceedings thereafter, and some good build-up play led to Hayley Ladd taking aim from 25 yards, only for Walsh to collect easily.
On 24 minutes, Boe Risa was presented with a huge chance, as a terrific pass from Katie Zelem allowed the Norwegian to burst forward before again being denied by the busy Walsh once more.
Then on the stroke of half-time, the Reds took the lead after a well-worked corner between Ella Toone and Ona Batlle allowed the latter to shoot towards goal, and Ladd was on hand to smartly flick the ball past Walsh much to the jubilation of the travelling United faithful.
The Reds started the second half in a similar fashion to the first, with Boe Risa again testing Walsh but seeing her effort saved by the Albion shot-stopper.
Chances kept flowing for Skinner’s side, with Staniforth being the next player to be denied by the home side’s stubborn goalkeeper, as an error by Brighton’s Libby Bance was almost capitalised on to maximum effect.
On 58 minutes, Connolly delivered well from a deep free-kick, with Mary Earps bravely diving into action to deny the home side an equaliser, as Victoria Williams lurked at the back post with intent.
Just 10 minutes later however, Boe Risa finally got her just reward, as the Reds' no.8 doubled the advantage with a close-range finish after Russo crossed well from the right-hand side.
Earps was then called into action again minutes later, as she did well to deny Brazil who found space after some good work from substitute Danielle Carter to create the initial opening.
Mannion was denied on 74 minutes, as Brighton failed to clear their lines from a corner with Williams then on hand with a brave intervention to block Zelem’s piledriving effort that seemed to be heading towards goal.
Toone and Ladd both went close in the latter stages, but the Reds had already done enough to claim all three points with a professional performance at the People's Pension Stadium.
Brighton: Walsh; Le Tissier, Kerkdijk (Bowman, 58), Williams; Koivisto, Whelan, Connolly, Bance (Robinson, 72), Gibbons (Carter, 46); Lee, Brazil (Symonds, 85).
Subs not used: Green, Simpkins, Angel, Startup.
United: Earps; Blundell, Turner, Mannion, Batlle; Zelem, Ladd; Toone, Boe Risa (Galton, 82), Staniforth; Russo (Thomas, 85).
Subs not used: Thorisdottir, Fuso, Hanson, Smith, Baggaley, Murphy.
Goals: Ladd (45+1), Boe-Risa (69).