Blues beaten 4-1 in round four
Pompey Ladies exited the FA Women’s Cup at the fourth round stage following a 4-1 defeat by Super League side Millwall at Cams Alders.
The hosts were more than a match for their higher-ranked opponents, only to be undone by some fine finishing.
They fell behind on 14 minutes as Rinsola Babajide teed-up Lillie Billson to curl a fine finish past the grasp of Sadie Blakely.
Pompey pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but fell further behind when Billson latched onto Lily Agg’s through ball and notched her second of the afternoon.
Gemma Hillier reduced the deficit with a stunning strike before the interval, embarking on a solo run and firing home an unstoppable shot.
But Millwall restored their two-goal advantage early in the second half, with Billson finding the target from 30 yards to complete her hat-trick.
The hosts refused to lie down and Charley Wilson diverted Sarah Kempson’s free-kick narrowly over before Leeta Rutherford saw an effort disallowed.
But the Lionesses put a gloss on proceedings in stoppage-time when Frankie Strugnell’s strike deflected off both the post and Blakely before eventually finding its way over the line.
Blues boss Perry Northeast said: “The contest was a lot closer than the final score suggests and we had Millwall under sustained pressure for large periods.
“We enjoyed plenty of the ball in their half and our corner count was into double figures, but unfortunately the one statistic that counts wasn’t in our favour.
“Instead we were undone by a fantastic hat-trick, while our finishing just wasn’t good enough on the day.
“But I was pleased to see that we acquitted ourselves well against a Super League side because that’s the level we ultimately want to be playing at.
“I learnt a lot about which players are capable of making the step-up, whereas you don’t learn much from winning comfortably week in, week out.
“Millwall provided a decent test for us and we’re disappointed to be out of the cup, but the league has always been our priority.
“It’s still extremely tight at the top of the table and we’ve got some incredibly important games between now and the end of the season.”
Pompey: Blakely; Frampton, Taylor, Rutherford, Bazan; Dark (Kempson 50), Clark, Quinn (Sievwright 85); Hillier, Umotong, Wilson
Photo: Jordan Hampton