Brave fightback not quite enough against Tottenham
Pompey Ladies’ Fratton Park debut ended in defeat despite a spirited second half comeback against Tottenham.
The visitors were two up at the break following goals from Megan Wynne and Andra Marcoci.
But Tiffany Taylor’s close range effort raised hopes of a comeback among the healthy crowd.
They thought it had happened when Charley Wilson netted, but that was disallowed and the Blues could not find an equaliser.
Tottenham started the game on the front foot, but it was Pompey who should have broken the deadlock on seven minutes.
Wilson skipped through the defence and sent a teasing cross towards the far post, where an unmarked Sarah Kempson could only fire against the post.
Blues skipper Gemma Hillier was next to go close, turning sharply on the edge of the box and firing narrowly wide.
But it was Tottenham who opened the scoring on 12 minutes, courtesy of a Wynne strike from distance that arrowed into the top corner.
And they doubled their advantage when Marcoci arrived at the far post to convert a deflected ball into the box.
Pompey had faded after their bright opener, although Lucy Quinn forced a save from Chloe Morgan with a long-range free-kick on 33 minutes.
The Spurs keeper then made an even more impressive stop, denying Kempson from point-blank range after a cross had been flicked on by Wilson.
Half Time: Pompey 0 Tottenham 2
Pompey showed plenty of energy at the start of the second half as they looked to reduce their deficit.
Kempson’s free-kick flew narrowly over early on before Gemma Simmonds sent a looping effort inches past the post.
Tottenham defender Robyn Downie then almost gifted the Blues a goal on 55 minutes, slicing a corner towards her own goal and nearly catching out Morgan.
The visitors were doing well to hold off a rampant Pompey and Wilson should have done more to test Morgan after turning sharply inside the box.
But Pompey did pull a goal back on 70 minutes when Kempson’s corner was bundled over the line from a couple of yards out by substitute Taylor.
And they should have been level moments later, with Quinn cutting the ball back only for Simmonds to blaze over from close range.
The 600-plus crowd then erupted when Wilson had the ball in the back of the net on 75 minutes, but referee Graeme Train controversially ruled it out for offside.
Tottenham had not created much since the restart, but they looked threatening on the counter-attack as Pompey committed plenty of players forward.
And the visitors managed to see out the last few minutes to spoil Pompey’s big day.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Blakely; Simmonds, Summerfield (Frampton 44), Murphy, Bazan (Taylor 46); Hunt (Bloomfield 78), Rutherford; Hillier (c), Kempson, Quinn; Wilson
Goals: Taylor 70
Subs not used: Cox, McMillan
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Morgan; Smith, Downie, Lane, Schillaci; Cooper, Moloney; Marcoci (O’Leary 64), Wynne, Leon (Baptiste 55); Martin
Goals: Wynne 12, Marcoci 21
Sub not used: Gamble
Referee: Graeme Train
Photo: Barry Zee