Pompey Ladies: Keynsham battled back before Northeast’s squad strength paid off

Gemma Simmonds scored Pompey Ladies' league cup winner
Gemma Simmonds scored Pompey Ladies' league cup winner
Brett Pitman was on the mark again for Pompey as they earned a draw against Walsall Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Walsall 1: Jordan Cross’ match report

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Gemma Simmonds hit the decisive goal as Pompey Ladies progressed in the FA Premier League Cup with a 3-2 win at Keynsham Town.

The development round tie served up plenty of entertainment with Keynsham hitting back from 2-0 down to level.

Jess Frampton and Charley Wilson scored the first two goals for the Blues before Simmonds had the final say.

Manager Perry Northeast felt his team weren’t at their best on Sunday.

They responded well to being pegged back to 2-2, though.

‘It wasn’t a vintage performance,’ said Northeast.

‘We were in control in the early stages, without being at our best.

‘At 2-2 I had to think about how we were going to get back in control of the game and how to win the game.

‘We brought on Ini Umotong and Lucy Quinn and they stretched the game with their pace.

‘Molly Clark came on and gave us fresh legs in central midfield. That was the difference.’

Northeast made five changes to the side who started against Cardiff.

Charlotte Benson, who joined Pompey from Super League side London Bees, came in for her competitive debut.

Striker Jemma Tewkesbury also started after returning to the club.

Pompey began well, creating a few chances.

Full-back Benson almost scored on her debut from a Simmonds cross.

The Blues took the lead on 25 minutes when Frampton scored with a good shot.

She almost got her second soon after.

However, it was Wilson who made it 2-0.

Shannon Sievwright provided the assist and the Pompey skipper sped past the Keynsham defence to net.

Just before half-time, Keynsham pulled a goal back.

Former Pompey Ladies striker Justine Lorton-Radburn netted.

The equaliser then arrived for Keynsham just past the hour mark.

Pilar Garcia got the goal to force Pompey Ladies to think about a change of strategy.

Northeast called on Umotong and Quinn from the bench.

Nigerian international Umotong quickly made her presence felt.

She flew down the wing and crossed for Wilson, only for the Keynsham keeper to collect the ball.

Pompey weren’t to be denied the victory, though.

Simmonds found the back of the net to settle the contest.

Northeast’s side are back in Premier League southern division action on Sunday.

They host leaders Coventry United at Privett Park (2pm).