Pompey Ladies gained two consecutive wins against local rivals, first beating Southampton Women 10 – 2 in a Hampshire Women’s Challenge Cup semi-final, and then thrashing Plymouth Argyle Ladies 6 – 0 in the FA Women’s Premier League.
The Blues made an impressive start against Southampton, as Sarah Kempson rounded the Saints keeper and scored after just three minutes. The advantage was doubled shortly after through a half-volley from captain Gemma Hillier.
The away side pulled a goal back from a corner, but Pompey quickly regained their two-goal cushion when Kempson scored her second of the game. Hillier also completed her brace after tapping in a cross, ensuring her side would go into half time 4 – 1 up.
After the break, substitute Natasha Stevens netted from long range and Kempson got her hat-trick by rounding the goalkeeper and finishing well.
At the back post, Lucy Quinn headed in to extend the home team’s lead to 7 – 1, and Emma Sherwood also got her name on the scoresheet with a volley from inside the box.
Charlotte Benson was next to score from a corner, before Sherwood produced the best goal of the afternoon. The striker picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed a curling shot which found the top right-hand corner.
Despite Pompey reaching double figures and continuing to be dominant, Southampton got a consolation when goalkeeper Michelle Beazley bundled the ball into her own net. However, the Blues won’t be too disappointed with the late goal, especially with a County Cup final to look forward to.
After the match, manager Perry Northeast said: “The important thing was to keep up the intensity. We just want to make sure we can keep and maintain that culture which is a killer-instinct culture.
“I think they came off a happy team today because everyone had plenty of touches and most of the goals that went in were team goals.
“We’ve got a massively rich heritage in the competition and silverware is silverware at the end of the day.”
A week later, Pompey were back in league action against Plymouth at Privett Park. In a similarly dominant display, Ellie Bloomfield smashed the ball in from close range to open the scoring with less than 20 minutes on the clock.
After Argyle failed to adequately clear the ball, Kempson exquisitely lobbed the goalkeeper to double Pompey’s lead.
Plymouth did threaten on occasions and hit the woodwork either side of half time. First, Ezme Wells hit the bottom of the left hand post after finding herself through on goal, before a powerful shot from Summer Taylor cannoned back off the crossbar.
The home side still had the better of the play, and two penalties in quick succession made the result safe with over half an hour still remaining. Both spot-kicks were scored by the in-form Kempson, who secured her second hat-trick in as many games.
Molly Clark was the next name on the scoresheet as she finished calmly past the away goalkeeper, and Natasha Stevens headed in to make it six goals for the Blues.
A frustrated Plymouth went down to 10 players when Jodie Chubb was given her second booking of the game late on, although the result had already been in the bag for Pompey long before that.
On the win, Northeast said: “We’ve got some fantastic players in the side at the moment that are brimming with confidence, and they’re all eager to create goals as well as score themselves.”
“We’ve had a bit of a rich vein of goalscoring form, but the tester is can we continue this. It’s fine scoring six goals in one game, but when we need just the one goal in a game can we do it?”
The result puts Portsmouth in 5th place in the table with 32 points. When where he’d like his team to finish at the end of the season, Northeast said: “As high as possible. Of course, we’ve now got six games to go, six very winnable games, and we’d like to get as many points as we can.”
“The players are in full belief that if we train appropriately and we keep the intensity high, both in training and in games, then we can win all of them.”
Pompey Ladies’ next game is away to mid-table West Ham United Ladies, while their County Cup final will be played against Basingstoke Town Ladies in April.