Albion head into Doncaster clash with a point to prove

Kirsty Barton. Picture by Geoff Penn/BHAFC
Kirsty Barton. Picture by Geoff Penn/BHAFC

Brighton Ladies midfielder Kirsty Barton feels the team have a point to prove to themselves when they host WSL 2 leaders Doncaster Belles tomorrow.

The Seagulls produced their most disappointing performance of the season when they lost 4-1 at Doncaster in January.

Albion’s 2-1 defeat at London Bees on Wednesday and Doncaster's 3-1 win over Durham on Thursday left the third-placed Seagulls, who have a game in hand, ten points behind the leaders.

Barton feels Brighton have progressed massively since the start of the season and looking ahead to the match, which takes place at Crawley’s checkatrade.com Stadium, said: “It wasn’t a nice game for us at Doncaster. We all know as a team that the performance was one of our worst.

“It was very frustrating but we can take things from that game. More than anything, we’ve got a point to prove to ourselves that we’re a lot better than what we performed last time against them.”

Barton says Albion will take things game by game for the remainder of the season and said: “All we can do is focus individually on every game as it comes.

“If we get too carried away with having to pick up the three points every game, that might interrupt with how we want to play.

“If we prepare for every game like we do, go out and play as we can, look to improve each week, then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t pick up the three points.”

On the Seagulls’ season so far, Barton said: “The team has developed massively this season. It’s been really good to get new players in which has built the depth of the squad.

“It gives us that bit of competition which is always healthy as well because everyone wants to play.

“We have come a long way since the beginning of the season and since Hope (Powell; manager) came in. It’s been a good season.”

Brighton will go up into the top tier of English football next season in the restructured Women’s Super League and Barton hopes to still be part of the Albion squad.

She said: “I really hope I’m here next season. I’ve been at the club eight years now, so Brighton is in my heart.

“My priority lies with Brighton but we don’t know about next season yet and what’s going on.

“We’ve just got to take the rest of this season and focus on this season.”

On what Albion could achieve in the top tier next season, Barton said: “You never want to settle for ‘let’s just remain’.

“It’s a case of pushing as far as you can get as a club. For the first season, you want to find your feet at that level and perform the best you can as a team.”

All of Albion’s home matches next season will take place at Crawley and on playing at the League Two side’s home this weekend, Barton said: “It will be nice to get a game there before next season comes. Hopefully we can get a crowd down there as well and it will be a nice atmosphere.”

Sunday’s match kicks off at 2pm. Ticket prices on the day will be £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s and over-65s.