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Women's Football News
Portsmouth 3 Lewes 2
A superb second half display saw Portsmouth come from a goal down and take all three points against Lewes at AFC Portchester.
Trailing to an Avilla Bergin penalty at the break, a double from Samantha Quayle and an opportunist strike by Molly Clark put the hosts in command before Leeta Rutherford gave Lewes late hope with a header but a fine, determined showing from Pompey was rewarded with victory.
Pompey keeper Robyn Levett denied Bergin with a strong block in the tenth minute and the home defence were put to the test by a series of left wing Katie McIntyre corners as Lewes started powerfully. Amelia Southgate made a number of crucial blocks and clearances for the home team but it was not until the 24th minute that Pompey threatened at the other end. Rachel Panting hitting the bar with a cross from a tight angle on the right.
Lewes looked the more threatening team and took the lead when Bergin earned and converted a 34th minute penalty. Natasha Stephens had a shot on the volley which drifted wide just before the break but Lewes had generally contained Pompey very effectively to lead at half time.
The second period was a totally different story. Stephens had already drawn a good save from Rookettes keeper Jacqui-Anne Goldsmid before Quayle latched on to a Shannon Albuery flicked header to level on 50 minutes. Panting then got clear on the right to force another good save before the ball was scrambled clear. A Quayle cross-shot drifted just wide as Pompey dominated and Clark gave Portsmouth the lead when she returned a loose clearance with a precise low 30-yard shot past the retreating keeper.
Lewes tried to respond but were hit again on 69 minutes when substitute Jade Simmons hit the bar from wide on the left and Quayle was on hand to tuck home the rebound. Chasing the game, Lewes piled on the pressure. Danielle Lane was played in twelve yards out but Levett turned her low shot wide at full stretch. From the resulting corner, Lauren Peck hooked the ball off the line after a near post deflection.
With sheer hard work blocking and covering for each other, Pompey looked to have weathered the storm until former player Rutherford nodded home a right side corner on 89 minutes to set up a tense finale. In fact, Pompey had already nearly added a fourth with Quayle just unable to convert a cross and then had a headed own goal by Lewes disallowed in added time for offside by a challenging forward. Pompey saw out time very impressively to claim a deserved win.
On a day when the match programme celebrated the fantastic contribution over 17 years of the retiring club legend Gemma Hillier, the current team gave a display in the finest Pompey traditions of heart and commitment to the shirt against strong opposition.
Robyn Levett, Ellie Kirby, Charley Boswell, Amelia Southgate, Samantha Quayle, Molly Clark, Natasha Stephens, Shannon Albuery, Lauren Peck, Rachel Panting, Eilidh Currie. Subs: Nadine Bazan, Jade Simmons, Katie James, Jade Widdowson.
Jacqui-Anne Goldsmid, Rebecca Thompson-Agbro, Kelly Newton, Katie McIntyre, Leeta Rutherford, Georgia Bridges, Danielle Lane, Avilla Bergin, Sarah Kempson, Claire Johnson, Natasha Wells. Subs: Faye Baker, Lisa Fulgence, Charlotte Owen, Rachel Palmer, Darcey James.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Amelia Southgate slides in to tackle Georgia Bridges
(middle) Samantha Quayle scores past Jacqui-Anne Goldsmid
(bottom) Danielle Lane (right) takes on Amelia Southgate
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