Ladies eye cup repeat after weather setback
Pompey Ladies are looking to pull off another comprehensive cup victory as they seek to put a frustrating month behind them.
Vanessa Raynbird’s side have not played a match since December 16 – the weather putting paid to that.
The latest fixture to fall foul was last weekend’s scheduled visit of Manchester City in the Premier League Cup.
That was called off the day before with Moneyfields FC’s Dover Road surface waterlogged, another south coast venue to fall victim of the rain.
On Sunday, Pompey have been drawn to face Winchester City Flyers Reds in the Hampshire Cup (1.45pm).
They booked their place in the quarter-finals with a stunning 15-0 demolition of QK Southampton.
Winchester play in the same Hampshire League division one as the team from Southampton.
The recent absence of matches dictates Raynbird will field a strong team for the occasion.
And she is striving for another thumping triumph to progress further in the competition.
She said: ‘Last week’s game against Manchester City was called off at 9.30am the day before – the pitch was a complete wash out.
‘It was only fair to call it off as early as possible to help their club and stop them leaving to come down here and having an overnight stay.
‘You become used to it at this time of year and it can get frustrating but we have continued to train twice a week.
‘Last week we booked Admiral Lord Nelson School on Sunday to replace the match.
‘Through the bad weather, we keep on going and the players do things themselves as well.
‘Of course, there is nothing like playing a game of football.
‘Everybody works hard all week in training for the game at the weekend but that hasn’t come to anything.
‘They just want to play and while Winchester probably isn’t going to be the biggest test in the world, we need a match.
‘If we had played some games I would have given the reserves a run out on Sunday but we cannot afford to do that, so it will be a strong side instead.
‘In that respect it’s going to be disappointing. We are going to be far superior to them and that is not good for either team.
‘It’s a game I would expect to win quite comfortably – but it is better for us than training.’
Pompey’s last outing was a 7-0 defeat at league leaders Sunderland.
Since then home matches against Charlton and Manchester City have been rained off.
It has got Raynbird checking the weather reports for this weekend, just in case.
She added: ‘I’ve been looking in advance at the weather and it appears it is going to be light rain on Saturday.
‘Hopefully that will prove to be correct – it has been too long now without a match.
‘We are not that optimistic, though – we have already booked Admiral Lord Nelson again on Sunday!
‘It’s just a precaution, our reserves haven’t got a match so at least we can do something.
‘I suppose it’s a case of fingers crossed.’
Meanwhile, the Manchester City fixture has been rearranged for Sunday, January 27.