Hillier eyes strong cup run for Pompey Ladies
GEMMA HILLIER has her sights set on a long cup run after Pompey Ladies beat Luton 4-2 to reach the second round proper on Sunday.
The Blues skipper was pleased with a good attacking performance to break down a strong Luton side.
Sarah Kempson scored twice, with Tash Stephens also on the mark.
Rebecca Bell netted her first goal for the club to complete the tally before Luton hit a consolation goal.
Pompey have been given a tough draw away to FA Premier League southern division rivals Charlton Athletic in the second round.
They will travel to the London side on Sunday, January 8.
Hillier admitted south east division one side Luton made it tough for Pompey and it took a determined display to see them off.
She said: ‘The manager picked a strong team which reflected our ambitions to do well in the FA Cup this season.
‘We dominated the first half possession wise, but struggled to break Luton down.
‘They were relentless in their defending.
‘We went into half-time 2-0 up, and knew the old cliché of the next goal was really important.
‘Luckily we managed to get the next goal, which helped us to relax.
‘But probably too much as we got very sloppy, giving Luton three or four really good chances to get back in the game.
‘Unfortunately their goal was coming.’
Pompey took the lead inside the first 10 minutes as Stephens scored from Samantha Quayle’s pass.
The second goal arrived after Pompey were awarded a penalty on 30 minutes.
Quayle was brought down by the Luton keeper and Kempson netted.
Hillier went close with a great strike that was superbly palmed onto the post and out by the Luton keeper.
Kempson netted her 14th goal of the season on 59 minutes, with an excellent low strike into the far corner.
Blues keeper Courtney Trodd made two saves in two minutes to keep Luton at bay.
Bell then scored a cracking goal after a great pass from Lauren Peck.
Nicola Henman struck a consolation for Luton.
Boss Jay Sadler handed Ellie Kirby her first-team debut.
On Sunday, Pompey are home to QPR at Privett Park (2pm kick-off).
Pompey in the Community are running lots of Christmas themed events before the game, including walking football, urban football, and there will be prizes up for grabs.
So it will be a great occasion and a good chance to cheer on the ladies.