Portsmouth FC Ladies 0 Lewes Ladies FC 1
Gosport Borough FC, Sunday 10th April 2016
FA WPL South
Lewes returned home with the points and a sense of a job well done after becoming the first team to beat Portsmouth at home since October. The sides were separated by Natasha Wells’s cool first-half finish on an afternoon that saw both sides struggle in difficult conditions.
The Rookettes travelled without defender Hayley West (broken nose) and with No.1 choice keeper Dolbear still not fit to start, Katie Burr between the uprights on what proved a tough day for goalkeepers.
The visitors started well, Lane and Heather pressing high up the pitch, the excellent Newton and McIntyre patrolling midfield. Early exchanges saw Beazley save well from Lane and seconds later Burr equally alert to thwart the lively Hillier.
Palmer and Carter kept Portsmouth at arms length, Palmer finding Wells and Lane with a series of accurate, clearing passes. The home side worked hard to push Lewes wide. With high crosses a lottery in the strong wind, both sides struggled to fashion chances.
Danielle Lane seemed most likely, making clever runs across the Portsmouth backline to create space. On 20 minutes she slipped inside her marker to put in a fierce, low cross that beat Beazley and just evaded the incoming Heather. Clark and Quinn attempted replies for the home side, Katie Burr untroubled by either effort.
The game turned on a moment of real quality in the 38th minute. Lane once again picked up possession, crossing the halfway line to inside left before threading an inch-perfect pass to the feet of the on-rushing Tash Wells. Taylor, stranded, could only watch as Wells composed herself before slotting low past Beazley. 0-1.
Portsmouth rallied and almost equalised on the stroke of half time. A swirling, in-swinging corner from Clark was met by the high-rising Leeta Rutherford. Her downward header beat Burr but not Carter, who coolly cleared off the line. HT 0-1.
In the second half Pompey manager Perry Northeast looked to freshen up his side, bringing Capel-Watson on for Benson, Sherwood for a clearly frustrated Sarah Kempson and Ellie Bloomfield on for Brittany Jeal. Walder, Lane and McIntyre showed great discipline to hold their shape and keep Portsmouth at bay, Walder in particular making life uncomfortable in midfield.
Molly Clark fired in a dangerous series of high deliveries from wide on the right, but, like Charlton last week, the home side found Katie Burr in top form. Newton came close, heading a McIntyre corner goalwards, before Lucy Quinn played in a fine pass only for Clark to pull her first-time shot well wide.
Lewes took control in the closing stages and sealed a well-deserved win that sees them overtake their points tally of last season. John Donoghue was pleased with the win, with his team’s discipline and their ability to control the game.
Lewes host C&K Basildon at the Dripping Pan, Sunday 17th April, kick-off 2pm. On Tuesday 26th April, 7.45pm, Lewes will host a very special Kelly Newton Testimonial game, featuring an all-star XI v current Lewes team, with all proceeds going to Cystic Fibrosis.
Portsmouth: Michelle Beazley, Charlotte Benson, Nadine Bazan, Leeta Rutherford, Tiffany Taylor, Shannon Sievwright, Molly Clark, Brittany Jeal, Lucy Quinn, Sarah Kempson, Gemma Hillier.
Bench: Courtney Trodd, Ellie Bloomfield, Capel-Watson, Tash Stephens, Emma Sherwood.
Lewes: Katie Burr, Clare Cadon, Rachel Palmer, Katie McIntyre, Charlie Carter, Kelly Newton, Kelly Larkin, Sian Heather, Paige Walder, Danielle Lane, Natasha Wells.
Bench: Ellie Lock, Lauren Dolbear, Kirstie Spice, Julia Louis-Joseph.