Pompey Ladies pay for first-half horror show

Gemma Hiller was denied by the Yeovil keeper in the second half as Pompey crashed out of the FA Women's Cup at the fourth-round stage
Gemma Hiller was denied by the Yeovil keeper in the second half as Pompey crashed out of the FA Women's Cup at the fourth-round stage
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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THE FA CUP dream is over for Pompey Ladies after they were dumped out of this year’s competition by Yeovil following a 3-0 defeat.

Vanessa Raynbird’s Premier League national division side paid a heavy price for a poor first-half display as they exited at the fourth-round stage.

Bad defensive mistakes from the Blues saw their southern division hosts take a firm grip on the game as they struck on 10 and 12 minutes.

It gave Yeovil the scent of another cup giant-killing after they beat national division Barnet 3-0 in the previous round.

Before kick-off, Raynbird warned her troops to expect to face a team on a high.

But the players did not heed her words and their sluggish first-half performance left them with too much to do.

‘Yeovil are right giant-killers,’ said Raynbird.

‘We didn’t perform anywhere near the level we needed to.

‘Mistakes led to the goals and for the rest of the first half we were sloppy.’

Pompey went behind when defender Lauren Murphy failed to execute a back pass properly and the dangerous Laura Bray burst clear to find the net.

Two minutes later, a headed clearance from Gemma Simmonds fell, somewhat unluckily, to unmarked Yeovil attacker Stacey Pearson who cracked the ball home.

The Blues launched a barrage of pressure in the second half. But Leeta Rutherford, Kirsty McGee and Gemma Hillier were all thwarted by outstanding goalkeeping.

Yeovil then added a third on 81 minutes through Jade Radburn as they completed the victory.

For Pompey, however, the damage was done with the gift-wrapped first-half goals.

Raynbird added: ‘The first goal was a dreadful mistake from Lauren at centre-back.

‘She had all the time in the world to pass it to the right-back who was unmarked.

‘For some reason, she turned and tried to pass it back to the keeper but topped it and it only went about two yards.

‘Their centre-forward is a natural goalscorer and she was on it in a flash. Lauren was devastated.

‘For the second goal, Gemma tried to head clear but the ball hit the top of her head, helping it on to their player who was left unmarked and finished it well.’

Pompey have a great chance to bounce back quickly as they host Manchester City on Sunday in the league cup.

The winners face Barnet in the quarter-finals.

Pompey will play the match at Westleigh Park (1pm) and are hoping to have a big crowd for what promises to be a thriller.

In the league, the Blues won an epic game 3-2 in Manchester in September.