Umotong goal not enough for Blues
Pompey Ladies’ winless run was stretched to three games following a 2-1 defeat at high-flying Charlton.
They started brightly and Gemma Hillier’s cross was somehow missed by both Lucy Quinn and Ini Umotong, while Sarah Kempson’s effort struck the post.
But the visitors fell behind midway through the first half when Nadine Bazan fouled Nikita Whinnett in the box and Gemma Shepherd stepped up to score from the spot.
She probably should have added a second moments late, only for a slip to allow Michelle Beazley to save.
And the Blues levelled on 37 minutes, with Umotong collecting Hillier’s fine pass and powering a shot past Alex Baker.
Molly Clark and Kempson both went close after the interval, as the they went in search of another goal.
Instead it was Charlton who forged ahead for a second time on 73 minutes when Kit Graham beat Beazley to Shepherd’s incisive pass and slid the ball under the keeper.
Pompey poured forward in search of a late equaliser, but Baker made a fine save tip Molly Clark’s header around the post.
Blues boss Perry Northeast said: “It was probably one of our best performances from the past 12 months, so we’re bitterly disappointed to have left with nothing.
“We produced plenty of free-flowing football and I don’t think I could have asked for much more from the girls.
“It was just one of those days for us. We hit the woodwork three times and created plenty more chances, but just couldn’t get the ball over the line.
“We also restricted a high-scoring side like Charlton to just one chance in the second half, but they took it.
“The challenge for us now is to play like that on a more consistent basis, while also getting more points.
“We know it’s a results business at this level and ultimately that’s what we’ll be judged on every week.
“There are a few things that need to improve and we’ll work on them in training, but we’re not too far away from where we want to be.
“We have six more league games before Christmas and with the right attitude we can win them all. That’s certainly our aim.”
Pompey: Beazley; Taylor (Frampton 80), Rutherford, Atkinson (Sherwood 76), Bazan (George 82); Kempson, Clark, Sievwright, Quinn; Hillier, Umotong
Subs not used: Trodd, James