Northeast flattened as Lionesses roar past Ladies

Gemma Hillier, right, in action for Pompey Ladies against Millwall. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Gemma Hillier, right, in action for Pompey Ladies against Millwall. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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POMPEY LADIES manager Perry Northeast was left ‘gutted’ after his side’s cup defeat to Millwall Lionesses.

Northeast’s side crashed out of the FA Women’s Cup with a 4-1 loss to the Londoners at Privett Park on Sunday.

An excellent hat-trick from Lillie Billson did the damage along with Frankie Strugnell’s late free-kick, with Gemma Hiller replying in style for Pompey.

It was a bitter pill for Northeast to take as his team went out in the fourth round against the Women’s Super League side.

He felt the scoreline didn’t reflect the action – with the outcome leaving him floored.

Northeast said: ‘I’m gutted.

I’m gutted. We’re devastated - it’s not a good feeling.

Perry Northeast

‘We’re devastated – it’s not a good feeling.

‘We had large amounts of possession as well as large amounts of territory.

‘But we didn’t do anything with it, and that’s what matters most really.

‘It’s not like we had been beaten fair and square, by a side who we knew were above us in ability. We’re just gutted with the end result.’

An added kick in the ribs for Pompey was seeing Millwall handed a home tie with WSL1 powerhouse Arsenal in the fifth round yesterday.

That was a sickener, with Northeast believing his side punched their weight against their opponents.

He felt his players weren’t overawed by the occasion.

Northeast said: ‘Playing against Millwall was exciting – I don’t think the players were daunted by the game.

‘But I’ve got to give credit to Millwall. I wouldn’t say they were a better side than us, but they just concentrated for 90 minutes.

‘We put them under sustained pressure and they didn’t lapse.

‘They didn’t fall to the floor – they just didn’t collapse at all! They were strong in that sense.

‘Looking at the game for us we were just unlucky.’

Northeast lauded the quality of finishing on display from both sides in Sunday’s clash. He noted the match proved different from Pompey’s previous meetings with elite opposition.

Northeast said: ‘Lillie Billson’s goals against us were just two fantastic strikes – you usually only see these types of goals once every two months.

‘Gemma Hillier scored a wonderful goal too – she cut in from the left-hand-side and unleashed a great strike to reach the top corner of the far side of the goal.

‘That was what I thought would be our turning point – perhaps it should have been as we started the second half brightly, but we couldn’t turn possession into goals.

‘We’ve played games against top teams in other parts of the season and keeping possession has been our trickiest thing.

‘This game was flipped – we had lots of possession.

‘But just didn’t do enough with it in the end unfortunately.’