Former Portsmouth Women duo star as Moneyfields’ Hampshire Senior Cup dream is ended by Southampton FC

Former Portsmouth Women strikers Rachel Panting and Shannon Albuery starred as Moneyfields’ dream of a Hampshire Senior Cup upset against Southampton FC was dashed last night.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 10:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 8:32 am
Rachel Panting in action during her Portsmouth Women days. Picture: Jordan Hampton

Karl Watson’s squad suffered their first defeat in 90 minutes this season in any competition as they were caned 6-0 in a semi-final switched to AFC Totton due to the state of Moneyfields’ Dover Road pitch.

Panting struck four times as Saints - bankrolled by the men’s Premier League club - set up a final date with either Portsmouth Women or Winchester City.

Moneys, to their credit, refused to cave in against a team one level above them in the women’s football pyramid and top of their table.

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But the hosts were quicker, sharper and far more clinical in front of goal.

Having said that, Moneys held their own for the first 25 minutes and were unlucky to fall behind from the penalty spot.

It was a harsh decision to award Saints a spot-kick for a supposed foul on Albuery, and captain Shannon Sievwright dispatched it past Sally-Anne Thompson.

Moneys fell further behind 60 seconds later when Albuery - who scored a hat-trick when Pompey caned Southampton 5-0 to win the Hampshire Senior Cup in 2018 - set up Panting to net from close range.

The same pair combined for a third goal on 42 minutes, Albuery again setting up her former Pompey colleague to net.

Less than a minute later, Panting broke through again but this time her shot rebounded off the outside of a post.

Watson made a double change at the interval, bringing in Paige Seeley and Brit Jeal for striker Sheree Bell-Jack and skipper and centre half Sophie Kingsley-Cabell.

Kaylee Edwards was moved back from midfield to partner Sian Bradbeer in the middle of the back four, with Kim Whitcombe moved from the left flank to a more central striking role.

But Saints were in no mood to relinquish control.

It was 4-0 on 56 minutes when Kirsty Whitton lofted a pass over the Moneys defence and Panting completed her hat-trick from close range.

Albuery showed good pace on the right and produced a teasing cross which Panting converted for her fourth and Saints’ fifth just after the hour mark.

Moneys then produced their best spell of the evening, with Whitcombe just failing to get on the end of a Seeley cross and Jeal’s shot being deflected just over the bar for a corner.

In front of a crowd of 244, Thompson flung herself to her left to turn aside a fierce shot from Phoebe Williams before sub Ella Pusey beat left-back Emma Eldridge only to fire across the face of goal from close range.

But it was Pusey who wrapped up the scoring with virtually the last kick of the game, collecting a long ball over the top and rounding Thompson to complete the half-dozen haul.

Moneys’ only previous loss this season was on penalties to Portishead in the Women’s FA Cup.

Portsmouth host Winchester in the second semi-final on February 13.