Penalty pain leaves Raynbird’s side on brink of cup exit

Leeta Rutherford's late leveller looked to have earned Pompey Ladies a point against Cardiff
Leeta Rutherford's late leveller looked to have earned Pompey Ladies a point against Cardiff
Pompey forward Kal Naismith Picture: Joe Pepler

Naismith: Pompey have no need to panic

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Vanessa Raynbird was left devastated by a last-gasp penalty decision as Pompey Ladies lost 3-2 to Cardiff in Wales.

A strike from Charley Wilson and a 94th-minute goal from Leeta Rutherford looked set to earn Pompey a point from their league cup group one tie.

But the referee pointed to the penalty spot, just seconds after Rutherford made it 2-2.

The decision to penalise Pompey keeper Roxy Roberts gave Cardiff the chance to seal victory.

They were in no mood to spurn it and scored to leave Raynbird fuming.

Roberts, who was booked for the challenge, was then given a second yellow card for dissent – after the penalty had been scored – just before the final whistle.

‘I am very annoyed and very disappointed,’ said Raynbird.

‘It was a hotly-disputed penalty.

‘We had just scored to make it 2-2 in the 94th minute.

‘Roxy was adamant she didn’t touch the Cardiff attacker at all.

‘The ball didn’t carry on going in the direction it was going, so it was clear Roxy had knocked it to the left.

‘It was a bitter ending. Devastating’

The loss leaves Pompey unlikely to progress from the group stage.

They must beat Yeovil in their final match to finish second with six points.

But only the best two of six group runners-up progress to the last eight and teams in other groups are better positioned.

The clash with Cardiff was a lively contest throughout.

Wilson fired Pompey into the lead on 51 minutes.

Her initial strike, from a Rutherford corner, hit team-mate Gemma Hillier on the back but the ball fell kindly for the striker to score at the second attempt.

Cardiff levelled with a thunderous finish from 30 yards out on 61 minutes.

The Welsh side then took the lead in the 79th minute, with a goal that Raynbird felt was meant as a cross.

But Pompey seemed to have snatched a draw as Rutherford scored four minutes into injury-time, before the late penalty pain.

Raynbird was delighted with the way her side played in Wales.

She felt they were very unfortunate not to get at least a draw.

The Pompey manager added: ‘We didn’t deserve to lose but you don’t always get what you deserve in football.

‘We dominated the first half and they didn’t have a shot.

‘It was 0-0 at half-time but we were camped in their half. We must have had 10 chances.

‘The girls worked their socks off and played some lovely football.

‘It was the best we have played all season.

‘We deserved a point out of it, at least.’