Clark and Sherwood on target against Basingstoke
Pompey Ladies retained the Hampshire Cup with a 2-0 victory over Basingstoke at Westleigh Park.
But they had to work hard to break down their lower league opponents, who kept the Blues at bay until early in the second half.
The holders were restricted to half-chances in the opening stages, with Tash Stephens having an effort saved before Molly Clark cleared the crossbar.
They were dominating possession and looking more likely to break the deadlock, without really testing Erin Davis-Donne in the Basingstoke goal.
But Pompey finally forged ahead on 48 minutes when Clark’s delivery from the left evaded everyone and nestled into the net.
They continued to pour forward and deservedly doubled the advantage, courtesy of Emma Sherwood’s neat finish.
Gemma Hillier and Stephens both came close to adding to the scoring late on, but Pompey had already done enough to keep hold of the trophy.
Blues boss Perry Northeast said: “Basingstoke had a game-plan and credit to them because they executed it very well.
“They sat deep, soaked up plenty of pressure and made it extremely hard for us to break them down.
“It was important that we stayed patient because we played good football in both halves, but needed to match their physicality in the second.
“We showed more tenacity after the break and thankfully the goals followed. Overall, I thought we deserved the victory.
“It’s always nice to win a trophy and for Paige Atkinson, Charlotte Benson, Emma Sherwood and Tash Stephens, it was their first bit of silverware with the club.
“Now we want to finish the season strongly. Forest Green will probably have a similar approach to Basingstoke this weekend, so we’ve had a decent rehearsal.”
Pompey: Trodd; Taylor, Atkinson, Rutherford, Bazan (Benson 74); Kempson (Sievwright 66), Bloomfield, Clark; Hillier (Jeal 84), Stephens, Sherwood
Sub not used: Beazley