'Excitement' building for Pompey Women ahead of huge south-coast derby double-header with arch-rivals Southampton FC

Pompey Women manager Jay Sadler says defeating arch-rivals Southampton FC to secure a spot in Women's FA Cup fourth round would provide an 'extra sweet' feeling for all involved with the club.

By Lewis Mason
Friday, 10th December 2021, 10:13 am
Pompey Women boss Jay Sadler. Picture: Dave Haines
Pompey Women boss Jay Sadler. Picture: Dave Haines

And the Blues boss believes the key to doing that is not getting overawed by the huge occasion of two south-coast derby battles in the space of four days between the bitter rivals.

Pompey Women host fierce rivals Southampton FC Women in the FA Cup third round at Westeigh Park on Sunday before they do it all again with a National League Southern Premier Division meeting under the Fratton Park lights on Wednesday.

Sadler says it's a huge few days ahead for both himself and his players and is excited to be part of two huge occasions to both set ups.

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But he urged his in-form squad, who have won their past five fixtures in all competitions, to not be overcome by the massive occasions and double-header in front of them.

Sadler said: ‘It’s a really exciting few days, really. To have two south coast derbies in two different competitions and two different venues. It’s massive kudos to the football club (league meeting staged at Fratton Park, we’ve had some really good chats with Andy Cullen (Pompey chief executive), bringing the women’s team closer and there’s no better platform for us then playing a south coast derby at Fratton Park.

‘Obviously we’re still really happy to be down at Havant - it’s been a bit of a fortress for us down there - we obviously train and play down there so roll on Sunday.

‘We’re going high in confidence, we’re highly motivated, ultimately we want to get to the next round of the FA Cup - that is the outcome - if it means beating our close rivals than that will be extra sweet - but, ultimately, it’s an FA Cup game and we want to get to the fourth round.’

Southampton FC Women have themselves made a stunning start to life at National League Southern Premier Division level, currently sitting second in the table after winning promotion last season.

But it was the Blues who claimed the bragging rights in the previous south-coast derby, securing a penalties victory in last season's Women's Hampshire Senior Cup final at Westleigh Park.