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Portsmouth 2 Lewes 0
Portsmouth notched their first FAWPL points of the season with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Lewes at Petersfield Town FC.
Goals on 73 and 89 minutes finally broke the resistance of the visitors, who had several first half chances themselves but were less threatening after the break. Pompey were kept at bay by an excellent display of goalkeeping by Michelle Beazley but they eventually found a way past the Rookettes keeper through two fine long range efforts from Lucy Quinn and Sarah Kempson.
Beazley was called into action to turn away a Kempson shot in the eighth minute but Lewes were equally threatening early on. Kirstie Spice was in the thick of the action. forcing last ditch defending on several occasions with one challenge bringing heated penalty claims. The striker then got past Sadie Blakely in the Pompey goal on 14 minutes but was foiled by a clearance off the line. Blakely was called upon to make a double save just after the half hour, pushing a first effort wide before catching Charlotte Bennett's follow up.
A well contested and entertaining first half also saw Pompey create a number of chances, Leeta Rutherford volleying a cross into the side netting from a tight angle, Beazley reacting quickly to race from her line to save at Charley Wilson's feet and, in the best action of the half, a delightful interchange between Quinn, Gemma Hillier and Wilson drawing a stunning one handed reaction stop by Beazley to push a low strike for a corner on 36 minutes.
Pompey were inches away from the lead on 47 minutes when a Nadine Bazan cross was headed inches wide by Quinn while Wilson went equally close with a header from a corner on 55 minutes. Wilson was denied by another fine save on the hour and Beazley was out bravely to foil Tiff Taylor, resuming after lengthy treatment.
A free kick wide on the left forced the breakthrough on 73 minutes, Quinn's delivery flashing across the area and ending up in the net through a crowd of players.
Lewes tried to respond but were well contained by a very sound Pompey defensive display and the majority of chances were at the other end. Wilson and Hillier were denied by Beazley saves but the second goal was unstoppable.
Kempson had been very influential all evening and her 35-yard effort was perfectly hit on 89 minutes to seal the win for her team.
A highly competitive and enjoyable contest was a credit to both sets of players and their coaching staff.
Portsmouth: Sadie Blakely, Jess Frampton, Jodie Goodall, Leeta Rutherford, Nadine Bazan, Chloe Dark, Shannon Sievwright, Charley Wilson, Gemma Hillier, Lucy Quinn, Sarah Kempson. Subs: Tiff Taylor, Molly Clark, Ellie Bloomfield, Liz O'Callaghan, Eilidh Currie.
Lewes: Michelle Beazley, Freddie Baker, Rachel Palmer, Katie McIntyre, Rebecca Thompson, Kelly Newton, Faye Rabson, Charlotte Bennett, Kirstie Spice, Chloe Howe, Sian Heather. Subs: Carly Noakes, Clare Trafford, Stacey Parkinson, Abby Dawson.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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