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Portsmouth 2 Southampton FC Ladies 1
Portsmouth will continue their quest for an eleventh straight Hampshire FA Cup success after a comeback 2-1 win over Southampton FC in their quarter final encounter.
This clash of teams affiliated to the respective men's clubs attracted a bumper crowd of 546 to the Kendall Stadium who witnessed a typically intense and competitive local derby.
Southampton's recently formed team are making rapid progress through the pyramid but currently operate two levels below the home club. The visitors bridged that gap very effectively for much of the match, their mainly youthful line up frustrating Pompey at every turn having taken an early lead. However, two goals in the last twenty minutes turned the tie in Pompey's favour and earned them a place in the semi finals.
Chloe Newton gave Southampton the lead with a fine turn to beat her defender before finishing low past Jamie Rowlands on 19 minutes. Pompey responded well to the setback and kept up pressure on the visitors' goal, forcing a good save by Kayla Rendell from Alex Collighan on 22 minutes, the same player then guiding a shot inches wide from a right wing cross on 25 minutes.
Portsmouth's Shannon Albuery had a goal disallowed for offside on 34 minutes and Rachel Panting headed wide from a corner right on the break as Pompey continued to search in vain for the equaliser.
Southampton regrouped at the break and started the second half very positively. The centre back pairing of Emma Godden and Caitlin Morris were rock solid with the experience of Shelly Provan on the left providing a positive outlet in building attacks. The pace of Newton, Ellie Chaffe and Georgie Newland keft Pompey's defence fully occupied and for the first 25 minutes of the half, Southampton were comfortable and Portsmouth were unable to repeat the pressure of the opening half.
The Portsmouth equaliser on 71 minutes came from a fine break down the right and a low cross which evaded Rendell's grasp for Albuery to net from close range. Southampton's Caitlin Collighan had a couple of long range efforts just over the bar but it was sister Alex who had the decisive say in the outcome. After more good work by Albuery on the left edge of the area, Alex Collighan curled home a powerful drive from 15 yards on 83 minutes for Pompey's second.
Southampton pressed forward but this time it was Pompey's defence which stood firm showing their determination to hold on to a hard earned lead. Albuery nearly added a third for the hosts in added time, only to be denied by another fine Rendell save but the final whistle saw celebration from the majority of the crowd, mixed with some relief after a well contested cup tie.
Jaime Rowlands, Ellie Kirby, Danielle Rowe, Amelia Southgate, Rachel Panting, Katie James, Shannon Albuery, Jade Bradley, Rebekah Tonks, Alex Collighan, Eilidh Currie. Subs: Jazmin Younger, Carla Perkins, Emma-Jane May.
Southampton FC Ladies:
Kayla Rendell, Phoebe Williams, Shelly Provan, Shannon Sievwright, Emma Godden, Caitlin Morris, Georgie Freeland, Caitlin Collighan, Chloe Newton, Rachel Woods, Ellie Chaffe. Subs: Emma Whitlock, Sara Luce, Kelly Fripp, Emily Wernham, Georgie Lowe.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Chloe Newton takes on Rebekah Tonks
(middle) Shelly Provan slides in to challenge Jade Bradley
(bottom) Georgie Freeland is challenged by Alex Collighan
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