Sievwright scores Blues winner
Pompey Ladies began their defence of the Premier League Southern Division trophy with a 1-0 victory at Cardiff.
It was the perfect start for the Blues, who were beaten 7-3 by the Welsh side in last season’s opening fixture.
Shannon Sievwright came off the bench to grab the only goal of the game after the interval.
Pompey had looked to get at their opponents straight from kick-off and Sarah Kempson fired wide before Laura O’Sullivan denied both Gemma Hillier and Ini Umotong.
The Cardiff keeper then tipped a Molly Clark free-kick around the post as the visitors continued to dominate.
But the Bluebirds grew into the game and Sadie Blakely made some key saves to ensure the scores saved level.
Kelly Aldridge also went close when she rose highest in the box to meet a corner and headed against the crossbar.
It was Pompey who broke the deadlock on 72 minutes, however, as substitute Sievwright netted with her first touch, volleying home after a free-kick had been diverted into her path.
Cardiff pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but they almost conceded a second, with O’Sullivan doing well to keep out Charley Wilson’s bicycle kick.
Blues boss Perry Northeast said: “It was an indifferent performance at times, but the important thing is that we got the result we wanted.
“When you go to Cardiff, you need to make sure that you work hard if you want to avoid defeat and that’s what we did for the most part.
“We started both halves brilliantly and thankfully Shannon was able to come on and get the important goal.
“Cardiff are looking for the title themselves and we always knew that they would come back at us.
“They applied plenty of pressure, but it certainly wasn’t panic stations at the end. We stayed organised and kept our discipline.
“I’m delighted for the girls, although it’s important to remember that you don’t win anything after the first game – we lost heavily at this stage last season and still went on to take the title.
“There’s a bit of a gap now before our next match against Coventry, but the girls will be working hard in training to make sure we’re ready.”
Pompey: Blakely; Frampton, Rutherford, Atkinson, Bazan; Kempson (Sievwright 71), Clark (Bloomfield 89), Quinn; Wilson, Umotong (Simmonds 65), Hillier
Subs not used: Trodd, Taylor