Controversial red card ruins Pompey’s opener against Cardiff

Pompey Ladies are reduced to 10 players on Sunday. Picture: Mick Young
Pompey Ladies are reduced to 10 players on Sunday. Picture: Mick Young
Curtis Main in action for Pompey against Reading under-23s in last season's Checkatrade Trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler  PompReading PPP-160510-131550001

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Pompey Ladies crashed to a 7-3 home defeat to Cardiff on the first day of the FA Women’s Premier League southern division season.

Club captain Gemma Hillier hit a hat-trick for the hosts at Cams Alders.

But it was not their day as Lucy Quinn was controversially sent off for handling the ball on the goal line.

At that stage Pompey led 2-1 but the red card gave Cardiff the initiative and they stormed to an emphatic victory.

Manager Perry Northeast felt the decision to send Quinn off was very harsh on his Blues team.

He said: ‘Everyone is disappointed. One key decision hasn’t gone our way.

‘It changed the game. It was a pivotal moment with Lucy Quinn getting sent off.

‘It all happened very fast and I don’t think one person in the ground could explain the exact story.

‘Sadie Blakely (Pompey keeper) tipped the ball onto the crossbar and it hit Lucy.

‘I don’t think the referee would have known exactly what happened.

‘Lucy is adamant it didn’t hit her hand.

‘The ball was cleared and then he decided it was a penalty. There was indecision.

‘It’s gone completely against us.’

Pompey were missing several first-teamers due to injury and ended the match with just nine players on the field.

Rachel Rigby was forced off injured, after all the subs had been used.

Northeast added: ‘Rachel turned her ankle and we had used all three subs already.

‘That typified our day, really.’

Cardiff took the lead but Hillier replied with two.

Quinn then saw red and Cardiff netted from the penalty spot.

The Welsh side then took a 3-2 lead before half-time.

They dominated the scoring in the second half, with Cori Williams taking her tally to five goals.

Lauren Townsend bagged the other two as the Welsh visitors went 7-2 up.

But the Blues continued to battle admirably, even with nine players.

And Hillier notched her third goal of the match as a late consolation.

Pompey travel to Copsewood (Coventry) in the league cup on Sunday.