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Pompey Women 3 Plymouth 0

Blues on the brink of securing title

7 April 2024


Pompey Women 3 Plymouth 0

Blues on the brink of securing title

7 April 2024

Pompey Women beat Plymouth 3-0 at Westleigh Park to all but secure the National League Southern Division title.

The result means they sit nine points above second-placed Hashtag United, who have three games remaining.

But with a goal difference that is plus-43 superior to their rivals, it would take a mathematical miracle to prevent the silverware heading to the south coast.

Leeta Rutherford’s early strike and a Giota Papaioannou own-goal ensured the Blues had a comfortable interval lead against the Pilgrims, with a late Riva Casley penalty wrapping things up.

Jay Sadler made a couple of changes from the side that were held to a draw at MK Dons the previous weekend.

Ali Hall and Daisy McLachlan were both restored to the starting line-up, with Ava Rowbotham and Ella Humphrey dropping to the bench.

Pompey gave an early warning of their attacking intentions, as Sophie Quirk collected Nicole Barrett’s lofted pass and fired wide of the post.

And the deadlock was broken on 10 minutes, when Emma Jones whipped in a corner and RUTHERFORD bundled the ball over the line.

It did not take long for the lead to be doubled, although the hosts received a helping hand from their opponents.

Georgie Freeland had the ball at her feet and a challenge from PAPAIOANNOU only served to send the ball flying into the net.

It might have got even better for the Blues, but a half-volleyed attempt from Hall was superbly saved by Lily Felgate.

Quirk did find the back of the net just a few moments later, only to have her celebrations cut short by an offside flag.

Izzy Collins then sent a deep cross right into the mixer, where Jones was waiting to glance a header inches past the post.

There had not been much happening at the other end, although a couple of blocks in quick succession denied Ellie Sara and Charlotte Whitmore just before the break.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Plymouth 0

The hosts were able to reassert their dominance when the action restarted and Felgate denied Jones following good work from Casley.

And the keeper was called into action again soon after, collecting a low effort from Jones after a corner had been worked into her path.

Argyle were trying to find a response and broke quickly up the pitch, but a strike from Fern Orchard was deflected wide.

Sadler freshened things up with some changes and recent signing Scarlett Williams came on to make her debut.

Fellow substitute Rowbotham then sent a shot narrowly over the bar after Casley’s delivery had led to an almighty scramble.

Pompey were given an excellent opportunity to make sure of the points on 84 minutes, though, when Amii Kearley handled in the box.

The referee pointed to the spot and CASLEY stepped up to confidently fire home her first goal of the season.

Plymouth were still not being given a chance to settle as the pressure continued right up until the end, with Felgate keeping out Humphrey’s attempt from the edge of the box.

The Blues are now just waiting to be confirmed as champions, which will happen if Hashtag fail to win at Ipswich next Sunday.

Pompey: Haughton (c); Barrett, Lane, Casley, Collins (Williams 70); Freeland (Humphrey 89), Rutherford (Rowbotham 70), Hall; McLachlan (Pitman 80), Jones (Scott 89), Quirk

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