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Cheltenham 2 Pompey Women 3

Humphrey hits hat-trick for the champions

21 April 2024


Cheltenham 2 Pompey Women 3

Humphrey hits hat-trick for the champions

21 April 2024

Ella Humphrey hit a hat-trick as Pompey Women twice fought from behind to win 3-2 at Cheltenham.

It was the first time the Blues had been in action since being crowned champions and they had to work hard to claim all three points against the Robins.

Jay Sadler made a trio of changes from the side that saw off Plymouth on home soil a fortnight earlier.

Ava Rowbotham, Emily Pitman and Humphrey all came in, with Ali Hall, Emma Jones and Daisy McLachlan dropping to the bench.

The visitors were afforded a guard of honour as they made their way onto the pitch, but were equally generous early in the contest, as a loose ball was pounced upon by Henna Butcher.

Pompey immediately looked to hit back and Riva Casley’s header from a Nicole Barrett free-kick was well saved by Aimee Watson.

They began to move through the gears, with Rowbotham threading a pass through for Humphrey to strike the post.

HUMPHREY did level the scores on 22 minutes, slotting into an empty net after Pitman had surged forward, rounded Watson and squared for her.

Pheobie Poole might have restored the home side’s lead, but her shot was kept out by Hannah Haughton.

Cheltenham were still looking dangerous, though, and did score just before the break, albeit in slightly fortuitous fashion.

Butcher rose to meet the ball, with her effort striking the crossbar and ricocheting into the net off the unfortunate Dani Lane.

And it might have got even worse for the Blues in stoppage-time, as Megan Attenborough nodded just wide.

Half Time: Cheltenham 2 Pompey 1

The visitors were looking for a reaction following the restart and Humphrey swapped passes with Sophie Quirk before firing narrowly past the post.

And the equaliser arrived on 57 minutes, when Quirk surged purposefully down the left before cutting the ball back for HUMPHREY to finish at the near post.

With an impressive record of wins to their name this season, however, Pompey were never going to settle for a single point.

They soon forged ahead for the first time in the game, with Quirk again involved after stealing possession.

She fed the ball to HUMPHREY, who ran half the length of the pitch and coolly slotted past Watson to complete her treble.

The Blues were now looking to put their foot down and Jones came off the bench to meet a Quirk delivery with a glancing header that flew just off target.

A raft of substitutions from both sides affected the rhythm of the match in the closing stages, which drifted by.

And Pompey can now look forward to receiving the National League trophy after their final game of the season against London Bees in a couple of weeks.

Pompey: Haughton (c); Barrett, Lane, Casley, Collins (Wild 90+4); Rowbotham, Rutherford, Freeland; Humphrey (McLachlan 87), Pitman (Jones 64), Quirk (Williams 90+4)
Sub not used: Hall

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