JAY SADLER was impressed with some excellent play from Pompey Ladies but rued costly mistakes as Charlton progressed in the FA Women’s Premier League Cup.
The Blues were beaten 4-2 by the London side in the third round tie.
But they had led at the break with a goal from Samantha Quayle on 29 minutes.
Hosts Charlton then struck three goals in 10 minutes early in the second half to turn the match around.
Striker Kit Graham got two of those goals and she later completed her hat-trick.
But Gemma Hillier pulled a goal back for Pompey and they threatened right to the finish.
Assistant boss Sadler felt the first-half display was a perfect example of how he and manager Craig Taylor want the team to play.
He said: ‘The first-half performance was really Portsmouth-esque.
‘It was what we have been looking for. I was very impressed with the way we played with the ball and without the ball.
‘Our good quality was there to see.
‘It was only a 10-minute spell at the start of the second half when mistakes cost us the game.
‘Overall our energy was superb and we played really well.
‘We didn’t give Charlton any time and when we won the ball we looked dangerous and we looked exciting.’
Graham is an experienced striker who knows where the goal is and Pompey paid for allowing her opportunities in the second half.
Her hat-trick was the difference in the tie.
Sadler added: ‘We knew Charlton were going to come out all-guns blazing in the second half.
‘We made a few mistakes and we need to eradicate them quickly.
‘Teams like Charlton will punish us.
‘Kit Graham got a hat-trick and if you give her a sniff of a chance she will take it.’
On Sunday, the Pompey development squad drew 3-3 with C&K Basildon reserves.
The under-15s beat Alton 4-0, while the under-13s defeated Winchester Flyers 5-1 and the under-12s crushed Andover New Street 4-0.
Charley Boswell, Lisa Fulgence and Kate Natkiel have returned to Brighton after the completion of their loan spells with Pompey.
Fulgence has tipped the Blues to go on and have an excellent season.
She said: ‘Thanks to Jay and Craig for bringing us to the club.
‘The players are a great bunch of girls who can push on for the rest of the season.’
Natkiel added: ‘It’s been a pleasure getting to know everyone and playing.’
Pompey Ladies host Swindon in the southern division on Sunday.
– DAVID BRAWN