Pompey Ladies bag maiden national division win in style

Gemma Hillier netted Pompey Ladies' second in their 3-0 win over Aston Villa   Picture: Mick Young
Gemma Hillier netted Pompey Ladies' second in their 3-0 win over Aston Villa Picture: Mick Young
Curtis Main celebrates his winner against Charlton in the Checkatrade Trophy with Kal Naismith and Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey Ladies are celebrating their first national division victory following a 3-0 demolition of Aston Villa.

Vanessa Raynbird’s side delivered an outstanding performance to send the club who finished third last season packing at Dover Road.

Charley Wilson, Gemma Hillier and Shelly Cox got the goals which did the damage.

It was a performance which proved Pompey have all the quality needed to match the Premier League’s big guns following their southern division title win last season.

Raynbird was delighted with what she saw.

She said: ‘We played some lovely football and finished off some good goals.

‘It was a very pleasing performance against a side who came third last year.

‘It’s fantastic to get our first win in the national division.’

Pompey’s victory was all the more impressive with the team forced into changes at the back.

Kaylee Schumann-Edwards and Kirsty McGhee proved lynchpins in the centre with Lauren Murphy missing.

They played key roles in picking up a clean sheet, which proved one of the most pleasing aspects of the game for Raynbird.

She said: ‘We had to make changes to the back four with Lauren Murphy away.

‘Kaylee Schumann-Edwards came through her fitness test and formed a very good partnership along with Kirsty McGee at centre-back.

‘Both of them are very composed on the ball and played well together. It was brilliant to get a clean sheet.

‘Sadie Blakely, in goal, made two very good saves.

‘We were 3-0 up by then but you never know. If they get one back it can make it nervy.’

The quality of finishing from Pompey drew praise from Raynbird as well as the general standard of their play.

That builds on what was a largely-encouraging performance in defeat to champions Sunderland last time out.

Reading are up next in the cup at Dover Road before Pompey go to Manchester City.

Raynbird was happy with her side’s cutting edge – even if there was a slight element of fortune to the final goal scored by Cox.

Raynbird said: ‘Shelly Cox floated the ball in and after the keeper fumbled it, Charley Wilson scored at the far post for the first goal.

‘For the second, Kirsty McGee played the ball out from defence, Charley flicked on and Gemma Hillier got round the back.

‘She was beating their defence for pace all game and she ran through and slotted it in.

‘Then Shelly floated the ball up from 30 yards and it has gone over everybody and found the net at the back post.

‘Let’s say it was a cross-cum-shot!’