Simmonds brace helps beat Palace
Pompey Ladies progressed to the fifth round of the FA Women’s Cup with a 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace.
The Blues will now host Super League Two side Durham next month for a place in the quarter-finals.
They roared into a three goal lead against the Eagles, with Gemma Hillier (pictured) breaking the deadlock after the opposition keeper had failed to hold Lucy Quinn’s strike.
Gemma Simmonds then doubled the advantage following some good build-up play between Charley Wilson and Lucy Quinn.
And Simmonds then rounded the goalkeeper before sliding the ball into an empty net to put Pompey into a strong advantage.
But the hosts converted a penalty just before half-time and added a second just after the interval.
Pompey kept pushing forward, however, and Wilson, Hillier and Quinn all came close to scoring.
They were unable to find the scoresheet again, but held off a late Palace surge to secure their progress.
Joint Blues boss Perry Northeast said: “After taking the game to our opponents and scoring three early goals, we probably took our foot off the gas a bit and became complacent.
“We have to give Palace credit – they fully deserved to get back into the tie. It just shows that you have to remain focused or you’ll be punished.
“Thankfully, we were able to raise our performance again and keep our composure to see the game out.”
Pompey: Blakely, Taylor (Frampton 71), Murphy, McMillan, Bazan, Quinn (Greene 89), Simmonds, Kempson, Bloomfield (Clark 71), Hillier (c), Wilson
Pompey Ladies are holding a race night in the Victory Bar at Fratton Park on Friday, March 28. Doors open at 7.30pm and entry is £2 for adults and free for concessions.