Back-to-back victories earns City of Portsmouth promotion

Katie Spooner charges forward for City of Portsmouth against Isle Of Wight.  - Picture Credit: Keith Woodland.
Katie Spooner charges forward for City of Portsmouth against Isle Of Wight. - Picture Credit: Keith Woodland.
Fareham's James Seager. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Fareham put themselves in driving seat to avoid relegation

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CITY OF PORTSMOUTH ladies won back-to-back games over the weekend to ensure promotion from Hampshire League division two.

City needed four points to clinch successive promotions and did it in fine style by scooping maximum points in each game.

They hosted Isle of Wight at Furze Lane on Saturday and ran out convincing 5-2 winners.

City pressed hard from the off, with every player knowing what was at stake.

But things didn’t entirely go to plan as Isle of Wight took an early lead.

However, City soon equalised with a backboard finish from Emily Butcher.

Becky Clay then followed in quick succession to make it 2-1.

After half time, the hosts came out full throttle and took a three-goal advantage.

Smart early balls were worked through the team for Butcher and Clay, who each netted their second of the day respectively.

Isle of Wight clawed one back, but City worked the ball quickly again, with captain Katie Spooner firing home from the top of the D.

The City defence kept out a flurry of penalty corners from Isle of Wight to secure the three points.

They then had to hold their nerve at local-rivals Fareham.

Despite only needing a draw, City continued their rich vein of form and came from behind to secure a 2-1 derby victory.

City were out of the blocks slowly and Fareham took advantage to edge themselves in front.

The Furze Lane side responded gamely, however were unable to put a number of chances to bed.

The interval proved to be a wake-up call for City and they came out for the second period all-guns blazing.

City forced a succession of penalty corners, with Butcher smashing one in the back of the net to draw the scores level.

The away side continued to press their foot on the accelerator and, with both teams playing their second match of the weekend, tired legs started to become noticeable.

In the final quarter, City refused to rest on their laurels and pushed hard for a winner.

After keeping the ball well in the D, captain Spooner led by example to slot the winner home and clinch promotion for City for the second season running.

Spooner could not hide her delight after the game.

She praised everyone who supported City in their derby match to help them get over the line.

‘A massive thank you to everyone who came and supported on Sunday,’ she said.

‘You guys cheering at the sideline made it for us all.

‘What a way to wrap up another great season ladies, we did it in true style. Up the pink army.’

City finished the season second in Hampshire League division two with 49 points.