Durham next for impressive Pompey Ladies

Gemma Hillier netted in the cup tie at Palace. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Gemma Hillier netted in the cup tie at Palace. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Pompey Ladies will host Super League Two side Durham in the FA Women’s Cup fifth round.

The draw was made yesterday, after the impressive Blues proved too good for Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Gemma Simmonds struck twice and Gemma Hillier was also on the mark to seal a good 3-2 victory.

But it wasn’t all simple for the team jointly managed by Perry Northeast and Katie Poore.

They stormed into a 3-0 lead before Palace battled back to reduce the deficit and make it nervy.

Northeast felt the team maybe took it a bit too easily after going 3-0 up.

He said: ‘After initially taking the game to Palace and securing the early goals we perhaps took the foot off the gas and became complacent.

‘To give Palace credit they fully deserved to get back into the game.

‘It just shows you have to take your opposition seriously at all times or you can be quickly punished.

‘Thankfully we managed to raise ourselves again, keep composure and see the game out.’

Both sides started fairly brightly in front of a lively home crowd.

But it was Pompey who struck first.

Hillier took advantage of the Palace keeper spilling Lucy Quinn’s initial shot on goal.

Two great strikes from influential midfielder Simmonds put the Blues in complete command of the contest.

The first was taken after great build-up play involving Charley Wilson.

Simmonds then got her second when she brilliantly rounded the goalkeeper before calmly slotting home.

Palace won a penalty after a tussle involving Pompey centre-back Lauren Murphy.

The spot-kick was converted, ensuring the home side went into half-time with hope of a comeback.

They added a second goal almost immediately after the half-time break.

A free-kick was met well by a Palace player to make the score 3-2.

Pompey regrouped and Wilson, Hillier and Quinn all had chances to seal victory.

But the three goals proved enough.

The Blues will now relish the test of hosting Durham in the last 16 of the prestigious competition.