Blues gain upper hand in title battle
Pompey moved to the top of the Premier League Southern Division table with a 3-2 victory at QPR.
They are now a point clear of Brighton in the race for the title, with just four games left to play.
Charley Wilson twice went close to scoring before finally breaking the deadlock on 14 minutes when she turned in Gemma Hillier’s low cross from close range.
But Jenny Critchley then converted a Sophie Fogarty corner to level for the hosts before a moment of huge controversy.
The referee pointed to the spot when Fogarty was fouled, only to then decide the incident had taken place outside the box following consultation with his assistant.
Pompey rubbed salt into the wound after the interval when a corner was only partially cleared and Lucy Quinn drove home the loose ball.
And they forged further ahead on 78 minutes, with Sarah Kempson’s corner catching out QPR keeper Trippoli Witney and flying straight into the net.
Stacey Sowden reduced the deficit late on after capitalising on a mistake from home keeper Sadie Blakely.
But the Londoners were unable to snatch a late equaliser, despite throwing plenty of players forward for the final few minutes.
Blues boss Perry Northeast said: “QPR made us fight for the win right up until the final whistle and we had to dig deep.
“They had lost at the weekend and you could tell from the very start that they were fired up for the game.
“But I was fairly happy with the way we passed the ball around and thought we just about deserved to take all three points.
“The way we closed the game out says a lot about our character and even though they had a lot of possession late on, our resolute defending meant there weren’t many chances.
“Now we’ve got another huge match at Cardiff on Sunday and the girls know they have to follow the game-plan if they want another positive result.
“We lost 7-3 against them on the opening day of the season, but that was a bit of a fluke result and both sides have changed a bit since then, so it won’t have any bearing on this fixture.”
Pompey: Blakely; Dark (Umotong 50), Taylor (Frampton 60), Rutherford, Bazan; Kempson, Clark, Sievwright (Bloomfield 74), Quinn; Hillier, Wilson
Sub not used: Currie