Pompey Ladies target double success against Gillingham

Ini Umotong scored twice against Spurs. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Ini Umotong scored twice against Spurs. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Luke Leahy is congratulated for his opener Picture: Joe Pepler

Whitney: Walsall were the better side at Pompey

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Pompey Ladies are ready for a tough start to 2015, with two trips to Gillingham.

Perry Northeast’s side go there in the league on Sunday and then return seven days later in the FA Women’s Cup.

The Kent outfit have not had a good first half of the season, with only two wins from their 13 FA Women’s Premier League southern division matches so far.

They suffered a heavy 7-1 loss to Cardiff in their final match of the year.

That’s in contrast to Pompey, who have won eight of their 10 matches in the league.

The Blues finished 2014 in superb form, with six wins in a row and 36 goals scored in those matches.

They beat Spurs 4-1 in their final match of the year, with Ini Umotong scoring twice and Molly Clark and Charley Wilson also netting.

Northeast is confident his side’s form will not be disrupted by the festive break.

He believes his team will be fired up to return to action on Sunday.

‘The challenge is to come out of both games against Gillingham with positive results,’ said the Blues boss.

‘We will have the hunger to win and to play again after the break.

‘It will be tough to play the same team twice in successive weekends.

‘We have to make sure we are fully prepared and ready for it.

‘When matches are so close to each other personal battles get formed.

‘But it will be good to be back from Christmas on a nice surface at the Priestfield Stadium.

‘It’s important at this time of year to know the matches should be on, unless there is a problem with extreme weather.’

Pompey are looking forward to a busy run of fixtures ahead, with the league cup, the FA Women’s Cup and the league to compete in – as well as the county cup.

They will hope the weather is favourable in the early weeks of 2015.

Last season the Blues only managed to play one match in January due to the extreme flooding across the south.

That caused a backlog of fixtures later on in the season.

In the league cup, Pompey have cruised through three rounds so far.

They beat Copsewood 4-2 in their first match, before crushing Larkhall 7-1 and then thrashing Mossley Hill 6-1.

The Blues have been drawn away to Premier League northern division side Nottingham Forest in the quarter-finals.

The match takes place on Sunday, February 1.

Northeast said: ‘It adds a bit of excitement when you play teams you don’t normally come up against.

‘We want to see how we measure against teams from the northern division.’