Pompey Ladies aim for shot in the arm against Aldershot

Shelly Cox is running the London Marathon on Sunday
Shelly Cox is running the London Marathon on Sunday
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Oli Hawkins missed Pompey's defeat to Gillingham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss: Late Hawkins injury hampered plans

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Pompey Ladies are bidding to put their weekend misery behind them as they look to lift the Hampshire Cup tonight at Privett Park (7.45pm).

The wounds from the 2-1 defeat in the league cup semi-final at Aston Villa on Sunday still run deep for manager Vanessa Raynbird and her players.

They will be determined to get that loss out of their system and win the Hampshire FA competition.

Raynbird’s Premier League national division big-hitters should be far superior in terms of quality to their rivals Aldershot.

So far in the competition, Pompey have recorded 15-0, 18-0 and 8-0 victories on their way to the final.

But the Shots top the Southern Region League premier division and recorded a 1-0 win over the University of Portsmouth in the semi-finals.

‘They will give it their all and these games are made for stumbles,’ said Raynbird.

‘We would hope to beat them and we would expect to beat them.’

Pompey will be without midfielder Lindsey Roe who has an ankle problem.

Striker Jemma Tewkesbury is also not involved.

Raynbird may look to switch the formation slightly in a bid to sharpen up the attack, with Pompey struggling to score goals recently.

The Blues boss added: ‘Earlier in the season we were scoring for fun but leaking goals.

‘Recently we’ve put in a lot of work to tighten up defensively but now we are not scoring enough.

‘We might have to look at a bit of a change to the formation and the roles we are asking the players to do.

‘I’m confident in the way we play. It’s just the final third.

‘It depends how the game goes against Aldershot but it is certainly something we will look at.’

Winger Sarah Kempson will be looking to continue her good recent form.

She scored for Pompey at Villa on Sunday, five minutes after coming off the bench, and was also on the mark in the 3-2 win for the reserves against University of Portsmouth as they lifted the Portsmouth FA Cup last week.

She’s shown her ability to strike the ball from distance and will be looking to add to her tally.

‘I would think Sarah will start tonight,’ said Raynbird.

‘She needs matches after taking some time out for her studies but has come back in full form.’

Pompey head back to Aston Villa in the league on Sunday.

There is no relegation from the national division this season due to the restructuring of the women’s game in 2014.

But Pompey are desperate to climb out of the bottom two.

Raynbird said: ‘We have to concentrate on what we are doing in the league.

‘It is a really important game for us at Aston Villa.’

Winger Shelly Cox will miss the trip as she is running the London Marathon.