Pompey Ladies doing well to mix it with Brighton & Co
Pompey Ladies have kept the fight going in the defence of their FA Premier League southern division title.
The Blues have certainly not conceded defeat despite struggling to reach their top form at times in the first half of this season.
Brighton took advantage of any chances their rivals gave them to move clear at the top.
They have looked at what Pompey did last season as an example of where they needed to improve as a club.
That included more fitness work to ensure their players are at their sharpest throughout matches.
Pompey Ladies boss Perry Northeast knows his team have not got the financial muscle of rivals like Brighton.
But the Blues have got stronger in the early weeks of 2016, only losing one match and that was in the FA Cup to FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) side Aston Villa.
Northeast’s side are currently fourth in the league table, 10 points behind leaders Brighton with two games in hand.
‘I am fairly happy with how things have gone, considering the infrastructure some of the clubs we are competing against have,’ said Northeast.
‘We have to hang on to these teams at the moment.’
Fifth-placed Coventry United have made an impact near the top this season after they joined the southern division in the summer.
The other two teams who are currently in the top five are Charlton in second place and Cardiff in third.
While Pompey weren’t in action on Sunday, Charlton beat Lewes 1-0.
Leaders Brighton were in cup action and Charlton’s win saw them close the gap at the top to six points, with two games in hand.
Cardiff missed the chance to boost their own title bid.
They drew 2-2 with West Ham and are now 10 points adrift of the leaders with three games in hand.
It’s all adding up to an exciting finish to the season with five strong teams battling out in the race for glory.
The standard has been so consistently high this season that Northeast feels all the teams in the hunt could more than compete in the super league.
He said: ‘Credit to the top five, or six teams.
‘They are all strong. The standard is so high.
‘I believe the top five could all easily compete in WSL 2 and potentially towards the top of that division.
‘There is a melee in that top five and we’ve all still got to play each other.
‘With five matches to go our target is five wins.’
Pompey Ladies are next in action on Sunday, March 27 when they travel away to Forest Green Rovers.
The Blues go to Brighton on Sunday, April 3.