Blues beaten 4-2 at Charlton
A Kit Graham hat-trick knocked Pompey Ladies out of the Premier League Cup on Sunday, as they lost 4-2 at Charlton.
The hosts had the upper hand in the early exchanges, with Avilla Bergin and Graham both threatening to break through the Blues defence.
But Craig Taylor’s side grew into the game and were soon controlling things as they moved the ball around well.
Samantha Quayle, returning to the line-up following a lingering injury, broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark, courtesy of a stunning curling strike into the top corner.
Charlton nearly found an equaliser when Courtney Trodd came racing from her line and Charley Clifford looked to slot into an empty net, but Nadine Bazan blocked the shot and Pompey eventually cleared the danger.
The hosts started the second half well, however, and scored three times in the space of just 10 minutes to put them in the driving seat.
Graham got her first of the afternoon when she controlled the ball on her left foot and drove it past Trodd.
The division’s top scorer was then played through by Giorgia Dunne, as the Addicks capitalised on a defensive error to take the lead.
Dunne notched the third – and her first of the season – when Trodd spilled the ball to leave a simple tap-in.
And Graham then completed her hat-trick on 73 minutes, but Pompey did not lie down and tried to get back into the tie.
Skipper Gemma Hiller reduced the deficit in the closing stages after winning possession and rounding the Charlton keeper.
They searched for more and Katie James missed out twice late on as the clock ticked down on the third round tie.
Blues boss Taylor said: “It’s never nice losing a game. However, there were a lot of positives that we saw – from the first half especially.
“I was really happy with how the team applied themselves and stuck to the game-plan, and they trusted each other.
“We weren’t blessed with the best of luck, losing a centre-half before kick-off, but for Rebecca Moody to come in and do really well was very pleasing.
“Obviously I hate losing, but I haven’t come away feeling disheartened. There was a lot there to show that we will get it right eventually.”
Pompey: Trodd, Capel-Watson, Tonks, Moody, Bazan, Sievwright, Boswell (Bell 61), Natkiel (James 78), Hillier, Stephens, Quayle (Fulgence 46)