Pompey aim to make further statement with league push

Pompey Ladies celebrate the opening goal against Man City on Sunday
Pompey Ladies celebrate the opening goal against Man City on Sunday
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Bradley Lethbridge in action for Pompey Academy against AFC Bouremouth. Picture: Charlotte Jeffes

Pompey Academy held to Bournemouth stalemate

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With a league cup quarter-final spot secured and the Super League bid safely in the hands of the FA, things are looking rosy for Pompey Ladies.

They are now preparing to return to league action for the first time in three months.

Postponements and cup contests have seen the battle to climb the FA Tesco Women’s Premier League national division shelved.

Until Sunday that is.

And with Pompey having submitted their bid to gain a place in the 2014 Women’s Super League on Monday, attention turns to a revenge mission against Charlton.

The South London side enjoyed a red-letter day back in September when they ruthlessly tore Pompey apart 7-2.

But Vanessa Raynbird is adamant they will face a different Blues side on Sunday at Winchester City (2pm).

The Pompey boss feels the club can boost their hopes of securing one of the spots on offer in the new second tier of the Super League by powering up the national division table.

She said: ‘It will be great to get back to league action. We have an opportunity now to play catch-up on the teams around us.

‘If we can climb the table it will help our cause with the Super League.

‘To end up mid-table will hold a lot of clout I think.

‘I don’t know how we lost by as many goals as we did to Charlton before.

‘They are not winning a lot of games and not winning any other games heavily so I think they just had a good day against us.

‘They have two very good forwards but we will get at them on Sunday.

‘We will set out our stall early and put Charlton under pressure all over the pitch.’

Pompey continued their pursuit of silverware last weekend as they earned a 2-1 success over Man City in the Premier League Cup.

Goals from Shelly Cox and Gemma Hillier set Raynbird’s side on the way to a home quarter-final tie with Barnet on Sunday, March 24.

Pompey were cheered on by a home crowd of 150 at Westleigh Park and the victory was a timely boost for their Super League bid.

They handed the documentation to the FA at Wembley on Monday, making their case as to why they deserve a place among the expanded elite of the women’s game.

Raynbird praised the efforts of all involved to put together their bid.

She said: ‘The University of Chichester have been fantastic – Dave Cooper and Lionel Bunting worked tremendously hard on compiling it.

‘It looked extremely professional and we must give a big thank you to them.

‘The Hampshire FA have also played a big part in the bid and we are grateful to everybody who helped.

‘Our win over Man City was massive and put everybody on a high.

‘I hope we have done enough with our bid. We have worked solidly on this in the past couple of weeks.’