MANAGER Vanessa Raynbird settled for a point after below-par Pompey Ladies were held to a 3-3 draw by Cardiff at Dover Road.
The Welsh side dominated long spells of the FA Tesco Women’s Premier League national division contest.
They were on top for most of the first half but, amazingly, Pompey snatched a 2-0 interval lead.
Kirsty McGee and Lauren Murphy scored the goals.
Cardiff stormed back to level at 2-2 in the second half before Charley Wilson fired Pompey back ahead.
Sadly for the home side, they could not hold out and Cardiff claimed a deserved point.
‘I’d be disappointed if I was them,’ said Raynbird.
‘But then, they didn’t seem too down at the end.
‘I guess you wouldn’t be if you are 2-0 down and then 3-2 down and you end up drawing 3-3.
‘But we hardly had any of the game in the first half and were 2-0 up.
‘By the end, I was hoping for the final whistle as they were putting the pressure on.’
Cardiff took control of the game in the opening stages.
They got the ball forward quickly and kept Pompey largely pinned back.
Keeper Roxy Roberts, deputising for the injured Sadie Blakely, had to make a couple of fine saves to keep the scores level.
Raynbird’s side eventually found some form towards the end of the half and quickly got their rewards.
McGee shot Pompey ahead after a thrilling move had teed her up.
Gemma Hillier measured a cross to McGee who exchanged passes with Shelly Cox and placed her shot inside the post for 1-0.
Pompey grabbed a second goal two minutes into added time at the end of the half.
A Leeta Rutherford corner was headed home by centre-back Murphy.
The half-time break was no time for Pompey to bask in the glory of the two quick goals, though.
Raynbird said: ‘I asked the players “does anybody think they deserve their 2-0 lead?”
‘It was clear they didn’t think they did.
‘We took our goals well and looked decent in the latter stages of the half but we needed to up the ante a bit.’
Sadly for Pompey, Cardiff bagged two goals in the opening 20 minutes of the second half to level.
The second came from the penalty spot when defender Fiona McMillan was penalised for a foul in the box.
Raynbird felt the decision was harsh.
‘Their player made a meal of it and I think the referee was fooled a bit,’ she said.
Pompey dug in and regained the lead as Wilson slotted home for 3-2 on 71 minutes.
But with five minutes to go, Cardiff struck back to make it 3-3 and ensure the spoils were shared.