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Women's Football News
Portsmouth had to withstand a second half fightback from Colchester Utd as they opened up the Southern Division season with a 4-3 victory.
In a day of tight results which saw three draws and two odd-goal wins, Hannah Gowland gave Colchester a third minute lead but Pompey were level just five minutes later through a Leeta Rutherford penalty. Jemma Tewkesbury then put them ahead following a good run and cross by Lucy Quinn and Gemma Hillier added a third just before half time. Tewkesbury completed her double to put Portsmouth in a commanding position but Colchester rallied and Gowland reduced the arrears with her second goal. Maegan Doyle then missed from the penalty spot for the U's before Megan Jiggins pulled another goal back with a firm header six minutes from time. Pompey held out under late pressure to take their place as opening day leaders.
The only other team to record a victory was Gillingham, who came away from Queen's Park Rangers with a 2-1 win. Deanna Cooper netted twice for the Gills in the last fifteen minutes, with Rangers replying through Elly Maggs.
Newly promoted Tottenham Hotspur made their bow in the league with a local derby against West Ham Utd. Jessica Cheeseman headed Spurs into an early lead which was cancelled out shortly before half time by Gemma Shepherd. The Hammers went in front for the first time midway through the second half as Kelley Blanchflower latched on to Carly Roache's pass before lobbing home but Spurs had the last say and Cheeseman sealed a 2-2 draw with her second goal, eight minutes from time.
The other league newcomers, Plymouth Argyle, also went home with a point under their belts as they shared six goals with Millwall Lionesses. Katie Middleton put Argyle ahead in the first half via a free kick but the lead was cancelled out a minute later by Shauni Griffiths. Leah Brooks restored Plymouth's lead via a long range strike but after the break, Millwall came out strongly and looked to be on their way to victory when Kasia Viggor netted twice. However Emily Mousley ensured that Argyle grabbed a share of the spoils with an equaliser two minutes from time.
The five league matches yielded a healthy 26 goals and six more were on offer at Brighton & Hove Albion where the home side drew 3-3 with Keynsham Town. Kim Stenning bagged a double and Kim Whitcombe the other for Brighton whilst Keynsham striker Leanne Lapham marked her return following a year out with a serious knee injury by getting on the scoresheet. Juliana Da Silva and Candy Hopson also found the net to help Keynsham return home with a point.
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