Perry Northeast felt Pompey Ladies’ agonising play-off defeat to Sheffield took the gloss off what has been a remarkable season.
The Blues were beaten 1-0 yesterday as their quest to win a place in the FA Women’s Super League was ended by an injury-time goal.
After the highs of winning the southern division title two weeks previously, it was a heartbreaking finish.
The hard work and dedication put in to win the league in fantastic style surely merited an automatic promotion place.
But with the FA deeming it not so, Pompey missed out and it is Sheffield who go on, subject to meeting the off-the-field criteria.
Northeast said: ‘It really was a really bitter pill to swallow.
‘We had two chances just before they broke to score the goal and the Sheffield keeper made two great saves.
‘We are the champions of the southern half of England at our level and that is something to be proud of.
‘But it’s the unfairness of how you get to the next league up that has just taken a bit of the gloss off it.
‘You see the men’s League One and League Two play-offs and it’s the teams who didn’t finish at the very top of the league who get a second chance.
‘This was the winners of the two divisions and for us to lose the game has taken a lot of the gloss off it.
‘It was two evenly-matched sides and it was a good game of football.
‘Neither side deserved to lose.
‘Unfortunately it wasn’t to be for us.’