Impressive start for Pompey Ladies against Chesham

Lucy Quinn netted for Pompey against Chesham. Pic: Ian Hargreaves
Lucy Quinn netted for Pompey against Chesham. Pic: Ian Hargreaves
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Katie Poore praised her players after the Blues beat Chesham 3-1 to open their Premier League southern division campaign in fine style.

The joint boss, alongside Perry Northeast, was taking charge for the first time in a competitive match.

It was a dream start at Westleigh Park.

Midfielder Kirsty McGee opened the scoring after just 26 seconds of the contest.

Newly-promoted Chesham stormed back to level but further strikes from Leeta Rutherford and Lucy Quinn completed Pompey’s victory.

‘We made a few changes in the way things were set out and the girls responded well,’ said Poore.

‘It’s a new era and they have given us the best possible start.

‘After the game everyone was really happy.’

McGee struck a confident fiinish into the bottom corner to open the scoring.

Chesham replied with a high quality half-volley to make it 1-1.

But before the break, Rutherford toe poked the ball high into the net after good work from Gemma Hillier and Quinn.

Chesham started the second half well but Pompey held strong in defence.

On the counter-attack the Blues looked dangerous and Quinn cracked a 25-yard shot against the crossbar.

Rutherford also hit the woodwork before Quinn was able to slot home the third goal.

Poore feels Pompey are in good shape and is happy to have started the new regime so well after taking over from Vanessa Raynbird at the end of last season.

‘I think I was more nervous than anybody but to get the early goal really helped,’ said Poore.

‘It was a good performance but there are things we can work on to improve.

‘I was assistant last season to Vanessa so I learned from the best.

‘There is added pressure with taking on the role but training during pre-season has been fantastic. The girls are on board 100 per cent and we have been able to keep most of our key players.’

Poore was quite impressed with Chesham who gave a good account of themselves in what could have been a daunting trip for them.

Last season two divisions separated the teams.

Poore said: ‘Chesham will cause some upsets I think. They are determined and their work-rate was fantastic. Defensively they are pretty strong.

‘Our fitness was the difference.

‘The goals were well worked and if we keep creating chances there will be players on the end of them with the formation we are playing.’

Don’t miss The Sports Mail on Saturday for more pictures from the opening-day victory over Chesham and a full preview ahead of the Blues’ trip to West Ham on Sunday.