JEMMA TEWKESBURY has hit form at just the right time.
Pompey Ladies are preparing to travel to Yeovil for a crunch FA Women’s Cup tie on Sunday.
They warmed up for the game with an 18-0 rout of Winchester City Flyers in the quarter-final of the Hampshire FA Women’s Challenge Cup at the weekend.
Tewkesbury was on the mark eight times.
Leeta Rutherford was next in the scoring stakes with four, and Chloe Ranger hit a hat-trick.
Kirsty McGee notched twice and Gemma Hillier netted one as the Hampshire League side were swept aside.
Tewkesbury hit the first five goals – all inside 30 minutes.
Her season has been disrupted by injury problems.
But manager Vanessa Raynbird believes confidence is fully restored ahead of the match against her former side.
The Pompey boss said: ‘Jemma scored some really good goals.
‘She got a couple of fantastic headers and a couple of volleys with good technique. She finished them particularly well.
‘It’s a big game for Jemma on Sunday.
‘After the Winchester match on Sunday she said “I would have scored more but I am saving them for next week”.
‘She wants to win the game and get through the tie – like we all do.
‘Jemma is focused and wants to score more goals.’
It was always likely to be a one-sided affair against Winchester, particularly if Premier League Pompey fielded their big guns.
But game-time is at a premium.
Before Sunday, Raynbird’s team had managed just one match in 2013 because of the recent bad weather.
As a result, the manager was glad her players got some football, even if it was not in ideal circumstances.
Raynbird said: ‘It was too much of a score for it to be good for anyone, really.
‘But we can’t afford to be without a game.
‘If we played our reserves, then the chances are the first team would not have a match as other teams are playing their county cup ties.
‘People have scored goals. They got confidence out of that.
‘The players tried to pass the ball quickly. They didn’t let me down on that score.
‘We didn’t get any injuries as well so that was a big plus.’
Pompey have now hit 33 goals and not conceded once in two Hampshire Cup matches this season.
They will meet Southampton Women in the semi-finals but are hoping to make it a midweek game.
Meanwhile, Pompey reserves beat the navy 2-1 recently.
Ranger and Megan Gratton got the goals.