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Cup Exit For Brave Blues

Pompey lose 2-1 to south coast neighbours

10 December 2023


Cup Exit For Brave Blues

Pompey lose 2-1 to south coast neighbours

10 December 2023

Pompey produced a brave performance, but exited the Adobe Women’s FA Cup after being narrowly beaten by south coast rivals Southampton at Westleigh Park.

Jemma Purfield grabbed the winner for the Championship side after an earlier own-goal had been cancelled out by Emma Jones.

Jay Sadler made two changes from the side that thrashed London Bees to return to the top of the table the previous week.

Leeta Rutherford returned from suspension and there was also a start for Izzy Collins, as Ali Hall and Ella Wild dropped to the bench.

There was an early chance for the hosts after Georgie Freeland stole possession and found Beth Lumsden, who fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

But it was their opponents who broke the derby deadlock with 15 minutes on the clock – albeit in slightly fortuitous fashion.

It was a teasing delivery sent into the box by Ella Morris and Jazz Younger could only divert the ball into her own net.

Pompey looked for an immediate response and Beth Howard was called into action to deal with Freeland’s effort.

Hannah Haughton then made a fine save of her own at the other end of the pitch, using her feet to deny Lucia Kendall from point-blank range.

But the Blues grabbed an equaliser just moments later, as JONES arrived at the near post to nod home a superb Nicole Barrett cross.

They continued to enjoy plenty of possession as the first half drew to a close, although were unable to carve out another clear-cut opening.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Southampton 1

There was some bright attacking play from Pompey straight after the restart and they were just looking for something to click in the final third.

Southampton, meanwhile, were trying to showcase their Championship quality and a strike from Rianna Dean cannoned back off the crossbar.

The ball landed at the feet of Lexi Lloyd-Smith, but before she could get a shot away, Barrett made a fine challenge to deal with the danger.

It was soon the turn of the Blues to be on the attack and Lumsden’s low centre from the right was agonisingly out of reach for Jones.

The visitors then hit the woodwork for a second time just past the hour mark, with Sophia Pharoah heading against the post.

And they did retake the lead on 74 minutes, courtesy of a brilliant back-post Purfield header to convert a Morris cross.

Pompey tried to hit back for a second time and Lumsden flashed the ball across the face of goal, with nobody able to capitalise.

Sadler made some attacking switches in an attempt to make a late impact, but the hosts could not find another equaliser.

Pompey: Haughton (c); Barrett (Bowers 90), Younger, Casley, Collins (Pitman 90); Freeland (Humphrey 83), Rutherford (Lane 90), Rowbotham (Hall 61); Lumsden, Jones, Quirk
Subs not used: Reynolds, Wild, Rolf, Smith

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