Blues triumph despite Blakely seeing red
Pompey Ladies need just a point from their last match to secure the Premier League Southern Division title.
They go into the final day in pole position following a 3-1 victory over QPR at Privett Park.
That was despite playing more than half the game with just 10 players, with Sadie Blakely being dismissed after conceding a penalty.
But the Blues had already roared into a commanding lead by that point, courtesy of goals from Ini Umotong and Charley Wilson.
The former opened the scoring on 25 minutes when she arrived at the far post to bundle home Sarah Kempson’s cross.
And Umotong then turned provider, beating her marker and sending the ball into the box for Wilson to convert.
But then Blakely brought down Natalie Adams in the box and was shown a red card, with teenage stopper Courtney Trodd taking over between the sticks.
Her first job, however, was to pick the ball out of the net, as Gemma Rudman confidently slammed home the resulting penalty.
Trodd did make some key saves to preserve the hosts’ lead, though, before Molly Clark secured victory with a bullet from 25 yards.
Blues boss Perry Northeast said: “It was never going to be easy once Sadie was sent off, but Courtney came on and did really well.
“When it was 11 against 11 we went two goals up and looked very comfortable in possession.
“QPR were always going to have more of the ball once they had the numerical advantage, but we stayed strong and didn’t concede from open play.
“The girls were superb throughout the match and worked hard to ensure we got the result we wanted.
“We’ve been calling for more fans in recent weeks and there was a larger crowd there to help see us through.
“Hopefully, plenty will also come along to see us play West Ham in our final game at Gosport Borough on Sunday.”
Pompey: Blakely; Frampton, Rutherford, Bloomfield, Bazan; Kempson, Sievwright (Trodd 37), Clark; Hillier (Currie 90), Wilson, Umotong (Quinn 66)
Subs not used: James, Dark
Photo: Jordan Hampton