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21 February 2017

Blues see off Southampton

Katie James and Samantha Quayle were on target as Pompey Ladies beat Southampton Saints to book their place in the Hampshire Cup final.

The result leaves the Blues on course to lift the trophy for an incredible 10th successive season.

But there is another derby match standing between them and that feat, with Westleigh Park hosting a clash with Southampton Women on Wednesday, March 15.

It was Pompey who made the brighter start at Privett Park, with Tash Stephens, Quayle and Shannon Sievwright all going close in the opening 10 minutes.

Visiting keeper Hannah Haughton was being kept busy and denied both Quayle and Stephens to keep the scores level.

The deadlock was finally broken three minutes before the break, however, as James completed a neat passing move by firing into the net.

There was still time for another opportunity in the dying seconds of the first half, but Stephens somehow skied her shot from just a yard out.

Pompey continued to dominate after the interval and Gemma Hillier struck the crossbar, while Haughton denied Quayle.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Courtney Trodd made a fine save with her legs to stop Nicole Matthews levelling the tie.

But most of the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch and the hosts deservedly doubled their advantage on 74 minutes.

Southampton failed to deal with Eilidh Currie’s corner and there was a scramble in the box before Quayle eventually forced the ball home.

The margin of victory might have been even greater, but Haughton made another superb stop from James late on.

Blues boss Jay Sadler told Pompey Ladies’ official YouTube channel: “We’re happy with the clean sheet and are delighted to be in the final.

“We have to give credit to Southampton for their first half performance – they came here and stuck to their game-plan.

“But as the match progressed we utilised the ball a lot better, we looked after it and our speed of play increased.

“We had a number of chances to be able to kill the tie off and so that second goal really helped us.

“We won’t really be thinking about the chance to win a 10th one in the final. We’ll be focusing on the game and not the occasion.”

Goalscorer Quayle added: “There has been a big transition this season, so it was good to see everything start to click. It’s always nice to score, but Katie’s finish was way better than mine!”

Pompey: Trodd; Peck (Capel-Watson 65), Tonks, Currie, Kirby; Bloomfield (Carleton 85), Sievwright; Stephens, Hillier (c), James (Bell 86); Quayle
Sub not used: Burns

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