Pompey fail to get the breaks as Manchester City bag victory

Jemma Tewkesbury
Jemma Tewkesbury
Curtis Main in action for Pompey against Reading under-23s in last season's Checkatrade Trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler  PompReading PPP-160510-131550001

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VANESSA RAYNBIRD felt her Pompey side lacked the breaks they needed as they fell to a 2-1 loss to Manchester City at the College Ground on Sunday.

Jemma Tewkesbury’s goal was the only reward the home side gained for a bright opening spell.

The former Yeovil striker was denied a second by a disputed offside decision.

Other opportunities also went abegging, before City hit back to condemn Pompey to a bottom-two finish in the Premier League national division.

The hosts were unable to repeat their slick passing in the second half as conditions turned ugly, with wind and heavy rain disrupting their flow at Hayling United’s home ground.

City capitalised and scored a spectacular free-kick winner on 70 minutes to settle the contest.

It meant Pompey were unable to continue their dominance over the Manchester club, having previously beaten them in the league and league cup.

Raynbird was disappointed her side could not kill the match off.

She also felt luck went against her team again.

The Pompey boss said: ‘It’s disappointing to lose.

‘We felt we had really turned a corner with our play but we needed a couple of breaks to give us that win.

‘Unfortunately, we are not getting them at the moment.

‘Sometimes that happens – it doesn’t quite go for you when you are down the bottom of the table.

‘We know we should be killing off games when we have the momentum but we didn’t do that.

‘They didn’t get a look in, in the first 30 minutes.’

Pompey took the lead when Gemma Simmonds forced City into a mistake.

Gemma Hillier latched on to the ball and played it forward for Tewkesbury, who won the race with the City keeper and lofted the ball nonchalantly into the net.

Five minutes later, the striker was crucially denied a second by an offside call that infuriated Raynbird.

Tewkesbury had arrived from deep at the back post to net from a deep free-kick played in by Kirsty McGee.

Instead, she was ruled to have been standing beyond the last defender.

‘I have no idea how the assistant has given offside for that,’ said Raynbird.

Shelly Cox and Lindsey Roe both went close but Pompey were unable to tighten their grip.

City levelled before the break when Abbie McManus rose at the back post to head home a free-kick.

Pompey then struggled in the second 45 minutes and a stunning free-kick from Lindsay Savage, with around 20 minutes to go, proved enough for City.

Raynbird added: ‘It became a bit of a nightmare in the second half.

‘It was horrible with the wind and rain and we didn’t play particularly well.’