Portsmouth Ladies’ 1sts reinforced their side’s dominance in the football by winning 2-1 at Wide Lane. Southampton took the lead but Pompey quickly equalised, before Lauren Drewitt’s fantastic free kick ensured an away victory.
Portsmouth dominated throughout, but failed to create any clear cut chances. With 10 minutes played, a Pompey striker used her pace to force an opportunity but could only hit the side netting. Then, Drewitt raced into the box and tried to test the Southampton ‘keeper, but her shot flashed past the post.
With half an hour on the clock, Pompey were handed a golden chance to take the lead. A purple striker nipped in after the Southampton defender dallied on the ball. However, she was bailed out of trouble by her goalie who stopped the resulting attempt on goal.
For all of Portsmouth’s pressure, it was the home team that took the lead against the run of play when Southampton’s number 10 found time and space inside the box and finished coolly into the bottom corner.
It took Pompey less than a minute to get back on level terms. The immediate reply was provided by Liz O’Callahan, after she reacted quickest to a shot bouncing off the woodwork and stabbed home.
In the second half, Portsmouth continued their dominance and looked to complete their comeback. After a period of patient possession, Pompey soon tested the Wessex goalkeeper with two long-range efforts. The first was pushed wide for a corner, while the second was parried and then cleared by a defender.
As it was the last football match of the day, the playing surface was in a fairly poor condition and was clearly hindering Pompey as they tried to play a flowing and passing game. Despite the pitch, the weather was still perfect and a good amount of fans were cheering and chanting from the sidelines.
Those supporters were soon cheering when their team were awarded a free kick and Drewitt stepped up to take it. From all of 30 yards out, she unleashed a shot that dipped over the wall and into the back of the net. After being 1 – 0 down, Pompey had turned the game on its head.
There was more drama to come when Portsmouth’s number 14 was upended in the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. She picked herself up to take the spot-kick, but unfortunately it whistled past the post.
Luckily for Pompey, it didn’t affect the result as they were able to see out the rest of the game with little resistance from Southampton. Although Portsmouth lost Varsity 2016 overall, they managed to win every game in the football and the Ladies 1sts can be proud of a very impressive performance.