Skipper Louise Quinn notched a brace as Birmingham boosted their Women's Super League survival hopes with a 3-1 victory over Brighton at the People's Pension Stadium.

Veatriki Sarri put the rock-bottom Blues in front early on and then set up Quinn’s 75th-minute header that extended the lead.

Julia Zigiotti pulled a goal back in the 84th minute before Quinn’s second wrapped up the win for Birmingham – for whom goalkeeper Emily Ramsey was superb – as Darren Carter’s side cut the gap between them and second-bottom Leicester to four points with three more games to go.

Leicester are in action on Sunday when they visit Manchester City.

Birmingham went ahead in the ninth minute when Sarri picked up the ball on the halfway line and advanced forward. Emma Kullberg got a touch that only helped Sarri on her way and the Greece international continued into the box before slotting past Megan Walsh.

The hosts’ subsequent efforts to hit back saw Ramsey pull off two fine saves to deny Lee Geum-min and also keep out an Aileen Whelan effort, while Kayleigh Green struck the bar.

Ramsey produced more good work after the break as she pushed away strikes from Inessa Kaagman and Danielle Carter.

Birmingham then went close in the 67th minute as Libby Smith was just unable to apply a touch to finish in front of goal from a Sarri cross.

And eight minutes later, their advantage was doubled as Sarri crossed again from the left and Quinn headed in.

Brighton responded with a Kaagman strike that Ramsey tipped on to the bar and Zigiotti then reducing the deficit with a shot from Maisie Symonds’ tee-up, but Birmingham nerves were eased four minutes later as Quinn’s finish made it 3-1.

Hope Powell’s Brighton remain sixth in the table.