by Neil Weld
Jemma Tewkesbury hit a hat-trick as Pompey eased to a comfortable 5-3 victory against National Division Nottingham Forest to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Premier League Cup.
The Blues took the lead after just three minutes when Tewkesbury (pictured) slammed home a free-kick from the edge of the box.
And they doubled their advantage in impressive fashion soon after. Charley Wilson ran with the ball from the halfway line, before lifting it over a defender and then beating the keeper.
A Nottingham Forest corner was headed past Sadie Blakely as the visitors reduced the deficit against the run of play.
But Pompey restored their two-goal advantage when Leeta Rutherford rose highest in the box to convert Tewkesbury's free-kick.
Tewkesbury continued to impress and met Shelly Cox's cross from the left to volley home the Blues' fourth.
Pompey were rampant and netted again after Cox’s cross had only been half cleared.
Rutherford put the ball back into the box and although Wilson could only divert it onto the bar, Tewkesbury was on hand to slam home the rebound and complete her hat-trick.
Nottingham Forest restored some price by scoring twice late on, but Pompey comfortably held on for victory.
Blues boss Vanessa Raynbird said: “I’m delighted to have won against a side from the league above us and to reach the last eight of the competition.
“It was the best we’ve played for quite a while. We completely dominated the game and the scoreline probably flattered Forest a bit.
“For 80 minutes we were absolutely fantastic and were playing neat one and two-touch football. Our passing was composed and we were first to every second ball.
“Now we’re away to either Reading or Blackburn – who play each other this Sunday – in the quarter-finals. Obviously for travelling reasons, we’d rather be facing Reading!
“But our main focus is the league and this weekend’s match against Gillingham. If we win that then we know we’ll only need one victory from our final two games to go up.
“It will be tough and we’ll need to start at a good tempo if we want to pick up all three points.”
Pompey: Blakely, McMillan, Heron, Murphy (Russell 76), Kirby (Rawlins 85), Hillier (c), McGee, Rutherford, Cox, Wilson (Rigby 70), Tewkesbury
Sub not used: Ranger