Pompey Ladies come up short despite Umotong double

Ini Umotong. Picture: Paul Jacobs (151619-15)
Ini Umotong. Picture: Paul Jacobs (151619-15)
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Perry Northeast will ask his Pompey Ladies side if they still believe they can win the title after their Basildon setback.

The Blues went down to a 4-3 loss against the Essex club but the result left them in fourth place and 12 points behind table-topping Brighton.

Pompey Ladies could reduce that to six points if they win their two games in hand.

But there are other teams that also have games in hand and Northeast clearly has his doubts that the title is still a realistic target.

The Pompey Ladies boss said: ‘It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that a lot of different equations have to go our way.

‘If we win it now, it would be one heck of an achievement.

‘Mathematically, of course it’s still possible.

‘But there are a lot of teams in the hunt. It’s not two teams this season – it’s five.

‘It can still happen. But at the same time, objectives and targets have to be realistic.

‘So we will sit down together as a group and work out what we can achieve.’

Pompey Ladies fell behind inside 10 minutes as Amy Nash opened the scoring for Basildon.

But Ini Umotong struck twice in the space of couple of minutes to put the Blues ahead approaching half-time.

The Nigerian international latched on to Molly Clark’s pass, outpaced the defence and chipped the goalkeeper before nodding home the equaliser.

She then bagged her second of the afternoon soon afterwards as she powered home a fine diving header from Katie George’s cross.

It took Umotong’s tally to a remarkable 15 goals in five games.

But Basildon then hit back themselves in a crazy spell with a third goal in two minutes as Karissa Rodney made it 2-2 before half-time, lofting the ball over Blues goalkeeper Courtney Trodd.

Pompey Ladies almost enjoyed a huge slice of luck early in the second half when Clark’s corner was floated into the area and rattled the top of the crossbar.

But they were 3-2 down just beyond the hour mark after Trodd conceded a penalty and Stacey Little made no mistake from the spot.

Lucy Quinn’s long-range strike from 35 yards hauled Pompey back on level terms with 18 minutes left.

But it was Basildon who had the final say 13 minutes from time as Rodney struck her second of the game to seal the points.

Northeast said: ‘We played some nice football in spells but we didn’t deserve the three points.

‘I think a draw would have been a fair result but it was a tough day at the office.’