Brighton 2-2 Leicester: Kirk rues ‘fear’ after Elisabeth Terland rescues Seaguls

Elisabeth Terland moved top of the WSL top-scorer standings with two late goals for Brighton

Leicester manager Willie Kirk says his side “definitely have a fear” after losing a two-goal lead at Brighton & Hove Albion to draw in the Women’s Super League at Broadfield Stadium.

Lena Petermann put the visitors ahead with their only attempt on target of a quiet first half as she charged down Emma Kullberg’s clearance and smashed in a thunderous half-volley from distance.

In-form Jutta Rantala curled in the second from near the penalty spot within 18 seconds of the restart, only for Elisabeth Terland to earn Brighton a point with two late goals.

“There’s definitely a fear and it’s appearing in different costumes in different games,” Kirk, whose side are now winless in seven top-flight matches, told BBC Radio Leicester.

“Sometimes it is when we’re winning and there is a feeling that maybe we shouldn’t be winning against this team or we’ve now got something to lose.

“We have a fantastic sports psychologist. We have got the players working hard on it as well, in terms of scenario planning and thinking about what do we do when we are in this position.”

Top scorer Terland produced a composed 82nd-minute finish and nodded in Poppy Pattinson’s cross six minutes later as the Seagulls avoided a third consecutive league defeat.

The result left Leicester seventh in the table, with Brighton two places behind and three points clear of bottom spot.

Albion are in action again next Sunday when they visit Aston Villa, while Leicester travel to Manchester United in the group stage of the League Cup on Thursday.

Lena Petermann (right) and Jutta Rantala celebrate a goal for Leicester in the Women's Super League
Lena Petermann (right) and Jutta Rantala have six goal involvements each for Leicester this season

Terrific Terland is Seagulls’ saviour

A goal of the season contender from Petermann and lightning-quick start to the second half looked to have earned Kirk’s team another victory against opponents they had beaten without conceding on each of the previous three meetings between these teams.

Enter Terland’s heroics. A deft piece of control and measured finish gave Brighton’s boisterous backing band in Crawley cause for hope.

It turned to celebration when the Norway forward found the equaliser with a second goal in six minutes courtesy, guiding in an expert header as part of a stirring comeback.

Terland’s goals made her the WSL’s leading scorer with seven and took her to almost one every 90 minutes. Her shot accuracy of 64% is also well above two of the three players she moved a goal clear of, Manchester City’s Bunny Shaw and Chelsea striker Lauren James.

Brighton needed Terland to find her ruthless best form on a day when they had less than 34% of possession, and she has now scored seven of their 10 league goals this season – the largest share of any player in the competition.

“She has been in fantastic form,” Brighton manager Melissa Phillips told BBC Radio Sussex, adding that she was “immensely proud” of her players and how Terland is “so driven”.

“She works so hard and is such a huge piece of how we train and prepare.

“We would have loved a third but I think we have to look at the game holistically. You cannot sugar-coat the areas that we have to improve on and that is what we will do this week.”


Brighton Women

Formation 3-4-3

  • 32Baggaley
  • 5Bergsvand
  • 2Thorisdóttir
  • 16Kullberg
  • 33Rule
  • 18SymondsSubstituted forFerreira Pintoat 68′minutes
  • 6LosadaBooked at 65mins
  • 3Pattinson
  • 7SarriSubstituted forRobinsonat 63′minutes
  • 11TerlandBooked at 71mins
  • 8Bremer


  • 14Carabalí
  • 17Ferreira Pinto
  • 22Robinson
  • 26Li
  • 40Startup

Leicester City Women

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Leitzig
  • 14GreenBooked at 17minsSubstituted forGoodwinat 77′minutes
  • 5Howard
  • 17Thibaud
  • 4BottSubstituted forNevinat 13′minutes
  • 6Palmer
  • 3Tierney
  • 11Cayman
  • 10WhelanBooked at 90mins
  • 9PetermannSubstituted forSiemsenat 77′minutes
  • 8Rantala


  • 2Nevin
  • 19Siemsen
  • 20Goodwin
  • 32Baker
  • 40Robinson
  • 41Reavill
  • 49Draper

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