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Pompey Women 0 MK Dons 3

Blues beaten at Fratton Park

3 April 2022

Pompey Women
Photo: Jason Brown

Pompey Women suffered a disappointing return to Fratton Park as MK Dons struck three second half goals.

There had not been an abundance of clear-cut chances on the sunny – if chilly – south coast, but it was the home side who looked more likely to find the net.

But Tally Miles broke the deadlock early in the second half, while Nicole Pepper and Chez Albert also struck against the run of play to provide a boost for the relegation-threatened visitors.

Jay Sadler made a single change from the side that beat Bournemouth to lift the Hampshire Cup earlier in the week.

Annie Rolf came in for Shannon Albuery, with Tamsin de Bunsen pushing further up the pitch to lead the line.

Pompey looked to attack their visitors from the start and showed plenty of intent, without being able to get through to test Chloe Sansom.

The closest they came in the early stages was a cross from Cherelle Khassal that flew narrowly over the head of de Bunsen.

Their first decent opportunity came when Emma Jones slipped a pass through to Khassal and Sansom had to tear from her line to make the save.

Khassal then turned provider to deliver a cross to de Bunsen inside the area, although her shot was blocked.

MK Dons picked up a bit as the half progressed, but efforts from Marianne Taho and Nicole Pepper were comfortably off target.

An ambitious 35-yard attempt from Khassal looped into the arms of Sansom at the other end, with the intensity starting to drop.

The Blues did start to move through the gears again as the interval approached, but a Khassal shot that was deflected wide was as close as they came to breaking the deadlock.

Half Time: Pompey 0 MK Dons 0

The second half was not even a minute old when the hosts had an excellent opportunity to finally forge ahead.

Khassal slipped a neat pass through to de Bunsen, who opted for a first time shot from the edge of the box that was saved by Sansom.

But the Blues were left stunned when their opponents took the lead soon after, with a corner not being dealt with and Miles lashing the ball into the roof of the net.

They tried to hit back instantly and a dangerous low centre from Emma Jones was hacked clear before Khassal’s shot was just about turned behind by Sansom.

And de Bunsen almost managed to sneak a cheeky effort inside the near post following good work down the left.

Emma Jones was then dragged down by Pepper just outside the box and picked herself up to bend the free-kick narrowly over the bar.

But it was the visitors who netted against the run of play on 69 minutes, as a corner from Pepper curled straight into the net.

And with Pompey committing players forward, the Dons were able to extend their lead further late on, with Mollie Coupar squaring for fellow substitute Albert to fire home.

The hosts kept fighting, but they were unable to find the goal that their overall performance deserved.

Pompey (4-3-3): Haughton; Quayle (McDonnell 88), Younger (Bridge 88), Gane, Rowe (c); Lane (Harney 61), F.Jones (Hill 88), Rolf (Rowbotham 72); E.Jones, de Bunsen, Khassal

MK Dons (4-3-3): Sansom (c); Warren, Miles, Stovold, Newman; Rush, Biggadike, Pepper (Brown 90); Mills (Albert 70), Taho (Coupar 63), Wood (Netschova 85)
Goals: Miles 49, Pepper 69, Albert 80
Booked: Pepper
Sub not used: Matthews

Referee: Steven Walsh

Attendance: 748

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