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Match Preview: Pompey Women v Cheltenham

Blues make long awaited return to action in cup clash

2 April 2021

Pompey Women are in FA Cup action on Sunday when they host Cheltenham in a second round tie at Westleigh Park (2pm kick-off).

It is the first competitive game for the Blues since a 4-1 league victory over MK Dons, which was played 112 days earlier.

Becki Bath scored a hat-trick on that occasion – including a couple of long-range screamers – before Tamsin de Bunsen put the contest to bed late on.

The two sides have not faced off since a 3-2 success for the Blues against the Robins during pre-season for the 2018/19 campaign.

Cheltenham twice had to battle from behind that afternoon to cancel out goals for Rebekah Tonks and Rachel Panting, only for a late Sarah Eadon header to ensure the south coast side came out on top.

The Gloucestershire outfit were sitting sixth in National League Division One South West when the season was curtail, having won two of their five fixtures.

Pompey, meanwhile, were enjoying a promotion charge at one level higher and were just three points off the summit when the action was halted before Christmas.

Although their respective league campaigns have been halted, the FA Cup is continuing and the winners of Sunday's tie will be at home to Crawley Wasps or Gillingham – both in the Blues' division – in the next stage of the competition.

Get through that and there is the mouth-watering prospect of a trip to Women's Super League giants Arsenal in round four, with the Gunners having lifted the silverware a record 14 times.

Unfortunately, the latest FA guidance states that ties have to take place behind closed doors, meaning supporters are unable to attend.

However, the game will be streamed live, for free, on the club’s official YouTube channel, with coverage starting at 1.45pm.

Defender Rosie McDonnell will be alongside James Wilson, providing kick-by-kick commentary of the clash.

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