Umotong strikes again as Pompey Ladies beat Forest

Ini Umotong netted again. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Ini Umotong netted again. Picture: Jordan Hampton
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Ini Umotong hit the decisive goal as Pompey Ladies beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 to reach the FA Women’s Premier League Cup semi-finals.

Perry Northeast’s side delivered a second successive away cup success against a team from the northern division.

It came after their 5-4 win against Blackburn in the FA Women’s Cup seven days earlier.

Leeta Rutherford and Sarah Kempson were also on the mark for the Blues before Umotong had the final say.

The performance was not the most fluent from Pompey but they showed plenty of grit and determination to ensure they would be lining up in the last four.

Northeast said: ‘We are through to the semi-finals and that is the main thing.

‘We all know we didn’t play as well as we can.

‘The pitch was tricky and it suited them.

‘They were very direct, with quick strikers. They kept the ball out of the middle areas of the pitch.

‘But our players weren’t prepared to lose.

‘It was a tough, tough game and we came out winners when we know we could have played a lot better.’

Hosts Forest took the lead on a difficult pitch and Pompey had to cling on a bit in the early stages of the contest.

‘We rode our luck,’ added Northeast.

‘Before we conceded the first goal, we could have conceded already.

‘They hit the bar and then they got that first goal and it kick started us.’

The Blues equalised when Rutherford met a fine free-kick delivery from Molly Clark to score.

Kempson then fired home a deflected strike to put the southern division visitors 2-1 up.

Forest equalised 20 seconds into the second half but again Pompey rallied.

Umotong came off the bench and scored for the 11th match in succession – her 18th goal in that run – with a neat finish for the winner.

Northeast had challenged his side to show they could stand up and be counted against two powerful sides in Forest and Blackburn.

Both matches were fiercely competitive, with Pompey coming out on top in each.

The players certainly showed they have the physical power and the mindset to cope when they are faced with such difficult tests.

Northeast added: ‘Blackburn and Forest put us in the trickiest situations we have been in since the first game of the season when we went down to 10 players.

‘Now we are in the fourth round of the FA Cup and the semi-finals of the league cup.’

The Blues will play FA Women’s Super League division two side Millwall at home in the FA Cup on Sunday, March 8.

The Lionesses beat Lowestoft Town 3-0 on Sunday to progress.