PERRY NORTHEAST is eyeing a top-three FA Women’s Premier League southern division spot after Pompey Ladies earned a 2-0 win over Charlton at Privett Park on Sunday.
Ellie Bloomfield fired the home side into a first-half lead, but Northeast and Katie Poore’s side were made to wait until the final minute to seal the points, when Gemma Hillier coolly lobbed home to move within two points of third-placed Cardiff with three games to play.
Joint-Blues boss Northeast was happy with what he saw from his team.
And he felt a result against Charlton – a side they have drawn with in two previous encounters this season – set the team up nicely for the season’s climax.
‘It was key we got the win,’ admitted Northeast.
‘We said before the game that we wanted to see the season out with some good performances.
‘At the beginning of the season we said top three was where we wanted to be and we are setting ourselves up nicely for it.
‘We want to make sure we are better than the other teams we were losing or drawing to at the beginning of the season.
‘It’s a good measure of how far we’ve come.
‘The squad on Sunday was already stretched, so it is good that players have been able to come in and the results have still been good.’
The Blues started well and had the ball in the back of the net on six minutes when a short-corner routine was coolly finished by Gemma Simmons – only to be flagged offside.
The home side did take the lead in the 40th minute, though, when a Lucy Quinn free-kick hit the wall and rebounded to Bloomfield, who confidently side-footed the ball home.
The Blues were then dealt an injury blow on the hour mark when versatile defender Tiff Taylor – playing at centre-back – left the field of play with a suspected shoulder dislocation.
Northeast’s side continued to press, though, and were rewarded for their attacking endeavour in injury-time when Sarah Kempson found Hillier who lifted the ball over the advancing keeper.
Northeast said: ‘I think 2-0 was a fair result, we had a goal disallowed as well.
‘We recorded the game so we’ll have a look back at that, but we fully deserved the three points.
‘Ellie Bloomfield came back into the starting XI and got on the scoresheet, which is great news for us.
‘It’s good to see different scorers on target.
‘Both Ellie and Gemma Hillier haven’t scored in the last couple of weeks but they came up with the goods.
‘Sadie (Blakely) pulled off a couple of fine saves for us, but that apart she was rarely troubled.
‘Our midfield controlled the tempo of the game.’
The undoubted bad news on a good day for the Blues was an injury to Taylor.
‘Tiff will definitely be out for the rest of the season,’ revealed Northeast.
‘It’s a grade three sprain which is the worst you can get.’