Two goals from Charlie Carter ensured that Portsmouth extended their unbeaten run, whilst also keeping a fifth consecutive clean sheet, as they proved too strong for Brunel University.
From the opening exchanges it was clear to see how the Portsmouth ladies had managed to last 360 minutes without conceding, as the early sparring between the two sides was controlled by a battling display by the Portsmouth players; a degree of control that provided the foundations for a crucial victory.
With a cagey opening largely dominated by both midfields, space was hard to come by, meaning that either side would have to be patient in finding an opening. Portsmouth’s patience paid off however, as they suddenly broke through the Brunel defence. Carter was left with space and time to rifle past the opposition goalkeeper into the roof of the net; a goal that gave Portsmouth the impetus to go on and take command.
The command of the game was largely orchestrated by Carter, as her comfortableness and ease on the ball allowed others to play off of her and begin to find space. The game was opening up particularly through neat interchanges down the right hand side with the also impressive Emma Keady.
Brunel could clearly feel the pressure, as, whilst feeling the need to attack themselves to claw a way back into the game, they were aware of the constant threat coming at them from the Portsmouth ladies.
Ultimately this pressure told. In similar circumstances to the opening goal, Carter found herself free of her marker in front of goal, this time placing a low drive into the bottom corner before half time.
The second half opened similarly to the first, with each side trading blows and creating decent half chances, yet Portsmouth’s defensive line continued to hold firm and combat any potential threat.
Similarly, Brunel’s shape began to be torn apart as they chased the game. Substitute Kellie Ryan ran half the length of the pitch unchallenged and was only halted by what appeared to be a foul from behind which would perhaps, on another day, be considered as a penalty. Portsmouth continued to control the game with Brunel struggling to find a foothold in the game, despite still working hard.
Perhaps inevitably then, Portsmouth sealed the points with Carter played a delightful teasing ball in to the path of Nieshia Anne Boal, who slid in ahead of the on-rushing goalkeeper to poke home the decisive third goal, polishing off a comfortable victory for the women’s first team.