Albion Women kicked-off 2022 by netting a dramatic late goal to beat Stoke City 1-0 at Coles Lane on Sunday.
The Baggies began their first FA Women’s National League North fixture of the year brightly, winning a penalty inside three minutes, but Leigh Dugmore blazed her shot from 12-yards over the crossbar. Dugmore had another chance to open the scoring immediately after – though this time was denied by Stoke’s goalkeeper at close-range.
Albion dominated the early period yet needed to remain wary of the visitors, who struck a good opportunity wide just before Jannelle Straker was forced off with an injury midway through the first half.
Somehow the game remained level at the break despite the home team’s best efforts, Evie Gallop crashing one against the crossbar and Rosie Embley having a goal disallowed for offside.
After the interval the Baggies continued to dominate, Dugmore firing off-target and Hannah George seeing a superb free-kick well saved.
15 minutes from time Albion shot-stopper Poppy Bastock produced a brilliant save to preserve her clean sheet, and her teammates soon made the most of it to snatch all three points. Substitute Mariam Mahmood showed great skill and footwork to beat a defender down the left and play a low ball across the box, which Shannon Stamps eventually converted following a dramatic goalmouth scramble.
New signing Sophie Tudor was brought on for her debut in the final stages as Jenny Sugarman’s Baggies held on at the end, seeing out the victory to secure all three points and start 2022 in style
Albion are back in action this Sunday (January 16) when they take on Leafield Athletic in the Birmingham County Cup quarter finals.
Albion Women: Bastock, Brown, Green, George, Stamps, Greaves, Embley, Walklett (Davies), Gallop (Tudor), Dugmore (Mahmood), Straker (Loydon).