A 5-2 defeat for Blues
There were plenty of goals to entertain the crowd who turned up at Cams Alders to watch Pompey Ladies in action against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
But unfortunately the hosts were on the wrong end of a 5-2 defeat, as their search for a first league victory of 2017 continued.
Calls for offside were ignored by the officials in just the second minute and Gemma Bryan took advantage by nipping in to open the scoring.
And Rosie Paye soon doubled the Eagles’ advantage, leaping highest in the area to nod home from a corner.
The shell-shocked Blues soon rallied, however, and Tash Stephens reduced the deficit in a frenetic opening after Gemma Hillier played a quick free-kick following a back-pass.
But that failed to provide the spark for a comeback, as Bryan beat Megan Jones to the ball and restored Palace’s two-goal advantage before the interval.
It got even worse early in the second half, Ellie Kirby was penalised for a challenge in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Blues boss Jay Sadler was sent to the stands as a result of his furious reaction to the decision, while Bryan kept her composure to convert the penalty and complete her hat-trick.
Top scorer Samantha Quayle gave them hope just past the hour mark after being teed-up by Hillier’s neat flick.
And Hillier then missed a great opportunity after racing through on goal and hitting a shot straight at Eagles keeper Francesca Ali.
Eilidh Currie also had an effort cleared from the line before Palace wrapped things up, courtesy of a fourth strike of the afternoon by Bryan.
Sadler said: “We’re disappointed with the outcome and it’s obviously not what we wanted, although there were positive elements of the performance.
“We looked threatening and created some good opportunities, but the result came from our lack of experience and physical qualities.
“A couple of key decisions went against us, but we should only focus on the things that we can control.
“We knew what Palace would offer and they’re a very strong team. They like a battle and will bully you if you’re not ready for that.
“There needs to a togetherness created among the team. There’s an end goal for us and it’s all about how we’re going to get there.”
Pompey: Paines; Kirby, Jones (Currie 46), R.Tonks, Peck; Sievwright (Iusan 64), Bell (Carleton 46), Stephens, James; Hillier (c), Quayle
Subs not used: Burns, K.Tonks