Portsmouth v City Ladies: Match report
- 04 March 2013 17:11
- Posted by @NieldyMCFC / Words by @Footykev
An improved second half performance from City Ladies was not enough to overcome a determined Portsmouth Ladies side in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup. A result which means City exit the competition at the same stage as last season.
The first half saw the Blues outplayed by their opponents as they struggled to get to grips with Pompey's high pressure game. Portsmouth created a host of early chances minutes which should have seen them take the lead. Hillier and Wilson both guilty of missing good opportunities.
The first clear-cut Portsmouth chance arrived on 20 minutes when Charlie Wilson capitalised on a City defensive lapse. Finding herself clean through she could only drag her shot wide of the upright. This warning was not heeded when, on 22 minutes, a vicious Pompey shot was parried wide by Worrall, Shelly Cox was the most alert of the Portsmouth players and fired home.
Still smarting from crashing out of the FA Cup to Yeovil last weekend, Portsmouth were determined not to let another trophy opportunity pass them by. City now looked more comfortable in possession and were enjoying more of the ball following a tactical switch to stop them being over-run in the final third. However chances on goal were not following decent build up play.
Ten minutes before halftime Portsmouth struck their second of the game. Pompey skipper Gemma Hillier, managed to wriggle free of the City defence, striking low to Worrall's right to extend their advantage, which was no more than the home side deserved after their display so far. City were up against it, needing a much better second half performance to get back in the game.
Coming out with a improved attitude at the start of the half, City then pressed their opponents, forcing early set pieces as Harding had an effort saved early on by Blakely. Pompey looked to hit City on the break as they were penned into their own half. Two corners in quick succession saw City grab the early second half goal they were looking for. Young whipped the ball over which Portsmouth only half cleared and defender Carly Bayley looped a header into the back of the net to give the Blues a foothold in the game.
City continued to press, squeezing the Portsmouth backline and forcing a series of opportunities which were blocked by the Pompey defence. Changes were made in the 67th and 78th minutes with Jordan and Flanagan entering the fray replacing Nightingale and Johnston respectively.
Despite late efforts to find the equaliser, City could not level matters meaning Portsmouth go through to face Barnet at home in the Quarter Finals of the League Cup.
Clearly disappointed at the final whistle Manager Leigh Wood commented:
"A disappointing performance and result today. We never showed up in the 1st half and got marginally better in the 2nd half. Credit to Portsmouth though, they played with a good tempo and pressed very well as a team, they fully deserved to go through to play Barnet in the next round. We wish them all the best."
City XI: Worrall, Middleton, McManus, Bayley, Harding, Lee, Savage (c), Nightingale (Jordan 67), Young, Johnston (Flanagan 78), Danby.
Subs: McLellan, Flanagan, Jordan