Northeast delighted with Pompey cup charge

Gemma Simmonds celebrates her equaliser against Durham. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Gemma Simmonds celebrates her equaliser against Durham. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss weighs up best attacking formula

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Joint Blues boss Perry Northeast praised striker Charley Wilson after she sent Super League Durham crashing out of the FA Women’s Cup.

The Pompey Ladies’ forward came up with the goods in the fifth minute of injury time to settle Sunday’s clash.

She fired home after Gemma Simmonds had cancelled out Durham’s opening goal at Privett Park.

The 2-1 victory has earned the Blues an FA Cup quarter-final tie against Notts County on Sunday, April 27.

That will be a hugely anticipated encounter, with the winners due to meet either Liverpool or Everton in the semi-finals.

County are from Super League one and will come to the south coast with a big reputation.

But the Blues have shown their quality with some sensational performances, including Sunday’s win against Durham.

Northeast was delighted with the performance at Gosport FC.

He felt it was fitting Wilson scored the winner.

‘I’m absolutely delighted, especially with the manner of the win,’ said Northeast.

‘To steal it at the end made it even sweeter.

‘The best thing that happened to us was to go a goal behind as it forced us to up our performance and really get into the game.

‘I’m really pleased for all the girls but it was fitting that Charley grabbed the winner as she covered every blade of grass out there.

‘The second half performance showed that, not only can we compete with teams like Durham, but we’ve got the ability to really get amongst sides from the higher divisions.’

Both sides made a slow start as they struggled to master the dry, dumpy surface.

Durham threatened first as Ruth Hepple fired wide with only Sadie Blakely to beat, while Zoe Ness was unlucky to see her cross-shot drop onto the roof of the net.

The visitors took the lead immediately after the restart.

Blakely could only parry Zoe Crooks’ 46th-minute shot into the path of Beth Jennings and the midfielder fired the ball into the roof of the net.

Falling behind seemed to stun the hosts into life.

They ensured Durham’s lead lasted less than three minutes.

In their next attack, the visiting defence failed to cut out a cross and Simmonds guided the ball into the far corner.

Hepple’s free-kick hit the bar for the Durham.

But it was the hosts who finished strongly. Gemma Hillier, Wilson and Jess Frampton were denied by a combination of good defending and brave goalkeeping.

Then Wilson struck the winner to ensure the Blues marched on to the last eight of the competition.