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11 December 2016

Blues progress to second round

Sarah Kempson bagged a brace as Pompey cruised into the second round of the Women’s FA Cup with a 4-1 victory at Luton.

But they have been handed a tough trip to Charlton – who have already beaten the Blues twice this season – in the second round.

They started strongly and Kempson looked a particular threat in the opening stages, only to slip as she shaped to shoot from 30 yards and leaving Jessica Devoti with a simple save to make.

Tash Stephens did break the deadlock on eight minutes, however, after Samantha Quayle neatly chipped the ball into the path of the midfielder.

It was a dominant first half performance from the visitors, with Rebekah Tonks missing a chance from close range, while Sharna Capel-Watson blasted over from a Kempson free-kick,

Shannon Sievwright then mis-hit a shot after expertly controlling the ball before Quayle forced Devoti to make a smart stop.

But the Blues were given an excellent opportunity to double their opportunity on the half-hour mark when the Hatters keeper brought down Quayle.

The in-form Kempson stepped up to take the spot-kick and her fierce strike into the bottom corner left Devoti with no chance.

Skipper Gemma Hillier almost added a third before the interval, but Devoti redeemed herself by brilliantly palming her effort onto the post.

Pompey found their opponents harder to break down in the second half, with the hosts finally starting to provide an attacking threat.

But they managed to extend their advantage on 59 minutes, courtesy of a composed finish from top scorer Kempson.

And the chances continued, with Hillier firing into the side netting, while a long-range effort from Sievwright was kept out.

But it was not all one-way traffic and Courtney Trodd made two saves in as many minutes to keep Luton at bay, the second of which then led to the ball having to be hacked from the line.

Rebecca Bell replaced Quayle with 15 minutes to go and found the net just seconds after her introduction to the action.

The young striker latched onto an incisive pass from fellow substitute Lauren Bell and coolly fired past Devoti to put the outcome beyond doubt.

There was at least a consolation goal for the beleaguered Hatters, with Nicola Henman capitalising after a corner was not properly dealt with.

But it was Pompey who finished with a flourish and Peck was denied twice in the closing moments as Luton engaged in some damage limitation.

Pompey: Trodd; Bazan, Currie, Tonks, Capel-Watson (Kirby 81), Stephens, Sievwright, Hillier (c), Kempson, James (Peck 70), Quayle (Bell 75)
Sub not used: Paines

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