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Pompey Women 1 Crawley Wasps 0

Hall grabs winner in final league fixture

30 April 2023

Pompey Women
Photo: Jason Brown
Match Reports

Pompey Women 1 Crawley Wasps 0

Hall grabs winner in final league fixture

30 April 2023

Ali Hall found the target in the second half as Pompey Women ended their National League campaign by beating Crawley Wasps at Fratton Park.

The visitors were already guaranteed to finish bottom of the table, but performed admirably and struck the woodwork three times before the break.

Pompey applied pressure after the break, though, and got the breakthrough when Hall capitalised on a cross from the impressive Sophie Quirk.

Jay Sadler made three changes from the side that secured a dramatic draw at MK Dons the previous week.

Ella Wild, Emma Jones and Hall were all restored to the starting line-up, as Leanne Bell, Anaisa Harney and Taylor Macdonald dropped to the bench.

There was an early drilled attempt from Annie Rolf that was comfortably dealt with by keeper Naomi Gross.

But despite dominating possession, the Blues were struggling to find any attacking fluency in their search for an opener.

They thought a penalty should be awarded when Quirk hit the turf after trying to round Gross, although referee Elle Hamilton-Dewhirst disagreed.

And Crawley then went close to breaking the deadlock when Hannah Haughton’s clearance was charged down by Oana Negrea.

The ball ricocheted against the woodwork and then hit the Wasps attacker before bouncing inches off target.

They soon went close again, as skipper Selin Burukgiray spun and fired in a shot that struck one post and then the other, but would not cross the line.

Pompey slowly started to get back on top and Jones did well to hold off a defender and draw a save from Gross.

The keeper also kept out with a speculative effort from Rolf before just about dealing with Danielle Rowe’s long-range attempt.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Crawley Wasps 0

The visitors were first to threaten once the action restarted and a powerful angled strike from Burukgiray flew not too far over the bar.

Pompey were still lacking that final killer ball, but they remained patient and started to find more joy as the second half progressed.

Dani Lane and Jazz Younger were both brought on in an attempt to inject some fresh legs into their play.

Quirk was looking most likely to create some magic, however, and her delivery led to a spot of pinball in the box before Hall’s effort was deflected behind.

And the breakthrough did arrive on 67 minutes, thanks to a superb cross from Quirk that was volleyed home at close range from HALL.

A low centre from Jones somehow evaded everyone on its way out of play, as the hosts sought a cushion.

More great work from Quirk down the left led to another cross into the mixer, although this time Hall could only head over.

And an instinctive long-range strike from Quirk dipped narrowly over the bar, with Crawley hanging on.

The visitors did apply some pressure as the seconds ticked down and won a couple of corners, but Pompey saw things out to end the league season on a high.

Pompey (4-3-3): Haughton; Barrett (Lane 63), Rowe (c), Gane, Wild (Younger 63); Hall, Rowbotham (Macdonald 88), Rolf; Scott (Bell 70), Jones (Harney 77), Quirk
Goals: Hall 67
Booked: Rowe

Crawley (4-4-2): Gross; Talbut-Smith, Phelps, Franklin, Fogarty (Hall 78); Garcia (Smith 83), Chong (Ajao 55), Taylor, Jackson; Burukgiray (c), Negrea (Chester 68)
Sub not used: Hynes

Referee: Elle Hamilton-Dewhirst

Attendance: 1,471

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