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Women's Football News
Portsmouth 2 Durham Women 1
Portsmouth created the shock of the FA Women's Cup Fifth Round by eliminating WSL 2 team Durham Women to join seven WSL 1 clubs in the quarter finals.
An injury time winner from Charley Wilson saw Pompey through, completing a comeback triumph after trailing to a Beth Jennings goal on 47 minutes. Durham had created the better chances in a tight first half but the FAWPL Southern Division team dominated the second half with a commanding display all over the pitch and deserved their win, late as it was, to reach the last eight for the first time.
Pompey started brightly but Durham always looked dangerous through the pace and close control of Zoe Ness who set up Jess Round for a good chance dragged wide on 19 minutes. Beth Hepple had the outstanding opportunity of the half when bursting clear of the home defence on 28 minutes but, under pressure from the advancing Sadie Blakeley, shot wide of goal. Another Ness cross was cleared with difficulty before Round put another good chance wide on 32 minutes as the visitors dominated.
Portsmouth played their way back into the match as the break approached. Their best move of the half saw Jess Frampton burst past two challenges before laying the ball off to Gemma Hillier to test Danielle Hill on 43 minutes.
Durham took the lead two minutes after the restart. Stacy Crooks beat a challenge and made her way into the area. Kaylee Edwards got a tackle in but the ball rebounded to Jennings who finish coolly into the top right corner of the goal from 12 yards. Pompey hit back almost immediately with Gemma Hillier and Wilson combining well for the latter to slide a ball into the run of Gemma Simmonds who finished first time low into the bottom left corner of Hill's goal on 51 minutes.
Suddenly, Pompey found their rhythm and dominated the right side of the pitch with Hillier and Wilson tormenting the Durham defence. Hill scrambled one near post Hillier cross away under pressure, then Simmonds set up Sarah Kempson for a shot well held by the Durham keeper. Hillier dragged an inviting opening wide after good work by Frampton but then turned up on the left to wriggle clear and cross for Wilson to volley instinctively into Hill's grasp.
Meanwhile, Durham had gone very close themselves on 72 minutes. A free kick 40 yards from goal was beautifully flighted against the bar by Hepple with Blakely beaten. The Pompey keeper made a great recovery to punch the loose ball clear as Jennings went to nod it home for a crucial save.
Kempson again went close for Pompey, curling a half cleared ball just over Hill's bar on 78 minutes but play was held up by a nasty injury to Lauren Murphy which forced a reshuffle in defence, Tiff Taylor moving to centre back and Frampton taking over at right back. Seven minutes were added to the 90 and in the fifth of these came the knockout blow for Durham.
The winner was a Wilson special. The lively striker had increasingly worried the Durham defence with her ability to hold the ball up and her close control. Even so, few could have predicted the outcome as she controlled a bouncing ball back to goal twelve yards out. Wriggling half a yard of space to her right Wilson lashed an unstoppable shot across Hill high into the net for a brilliant winner sparking huge celebrations.
There was no time left for Durham to force extra time and Pompey saw out the remaining moments comfortably for one of the best wins in their history. As so often it was a true team effort with every player concentrating hard and finding the right solution when under pressure against worthy opponents. Having lost several players to WSL clubs, this win was a tribute to the quality of their replacements, all of whom contributed very impressively. Pompey will line up with the WSL1 clubs, hoping for a home draw in front of their passionate support.
Portsmouth: Sadie Blakeley, Tiff Taylor, Lauren Murphy, Kaylee Edwards, Nadine Bazan, Molly Clark, Sarah Kempson, Jess Frampton, Gemma Simmonds, Gemma Hillier, Charley Wilson. Subs: Lysette Russell, Rhia Cox, Ellie Bloomfield, Lucy Quinn, Shannon Sievwright.
Durham Women: Danielle Hill, Jen King, Becky Hanratty, Lauren Jordinson, Meg Lawson, Stacy Crooks, Zoe Ness, Caroline Dixon, Jess Round, Beth Hepple, Ellie Christon. Subs: Katie Luther, Jen Jennings, Yasmine Hardy.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Gemma Hillier shields from Jen King
(middle) Zoe Ness tries to escape the attentions of Nadine Bazan
(bottom) Sarah Kempton challenges Jess Round
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