Don’t write off Pompey Ladies in league title race

Sarah Kempson has been in fine scoring form

Sarah Kempson has been in fine scoring form

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Sarah Kempson is adamant Pompey Ladies will not be giving up on their title defence.

The Blues are currently in fifth place in the FA Premier League southern division.

Ambitious Brighton have been relentless in their pursuit of the title this season.

They were determined to improve after seeing Pompey storm to success in 2015.

Brighton have 14 wins from their 19 matches and a total of 45 points.

Pompey have only played 16 matches but are 13 points off the pace.

Charlton, Coventry and Cardiff are also in the mix.

Despite the points deficit Pompey are confident.

They know if they can go on a winning run the other teams around them will be concerned.

Perry Northeast’s side have won both of their two league matches in 2016 so far, including last Sunday’s 6-0 thrashing of Plymouth.

So the signs are good and midfielder Kempson, who has hit hat-tricks in both the past two matches, says nobody should write them off in the race to repeat their 2015 glory.

She said: ‘I don’t think we can give up on the league.

‘Last season we were underdogs and we won the title.

‘We had a good run of form and we need to do the same again this time.

‘This is football. Anything can happen.

‘It would be nice to get a run of form going.

‘We had a disappointing result against Aston Villa in the FA Cup away from home.

‘But we have had some good results and we have to finish the season well.

‘We will keep working hard each week.’

Striker Ini Umotong left Pompey in the past fortnight to join FA Super League side Oxford.

She will be missed, although the Blues have scored 16 goals in their past two matches without the Nigerian international.

Manager Northeast is hopeful she might one day return to the club.

‘Ini left with a very heavy heart,’ said Northeast.

‘She didn’t want to leave Portsmouth but she has big ambitions.

‘And she has to look after her international credentials.

‘Hopefully we will see her back at Portsmouth in the future if we can get to the super league level.

‘It’s up to us to continue to be successful and hopefully get to that level.’

Pompey Ladies travel away to eighth-placed West Ham in the league today.

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