Pompey Ladies looking to step it up after Brighton steal march in title race

Gemma Hillier. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Gemma Hillier. Picture: Jordan Hampton
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Gemma Hillier is looking for Pompey Ladies to up their game after title rivals Brighton earned a deserved 3-2 victory at Privett Park on Sunday.

Ini Umotong and new signing Emma Sherwood scored the goals for Perry Northeast’s side.

We know we need to do something different now. Perry has already start implementing things over the last few weeks

Gemma Hillier

But the victory for Brighton took them four points clear at the top of the FA Premier League southern division table.

Defending champions Pompey have now lost twice in the league after going down 4-1 to Charlton.

Hillier was disappointed the Blues were unable to hit their top form against Brighton.

She praised the visitors who have now won twice at Privett Park in quick succession after their league cup victory on Sunday, September 27.

Hillier said: ‘They were better than us.

‘They have definitely improved from last season.

‘Other teams said last season that we were the fittest team in the league.

‘Brighton said that was the difference when we played them last season.

‘They have gone away and worked on that. Now they are matching us with their fitness.

‘We know we need to do something different now.

‘Perry has already started implementing things over the last few weeks.

‘We will be looking at different formations and ways we can change things.’

Brighton started the game well and grabbed the lead.

Kate Natkiel put Brighton ahead on seven minutes

Striker Umotong delivered a cracking response for Pompey with a powerful finish just three minutes later.

However, a confident and powerful Brighton side got stronger to deliver the killer blows in the second half.

They struck their second on 57 minutes through Lucy Somes and Amy Taylor fired the third on 78 minutes.

Sherwood, Pompey’s new signing from West Ham, pulled a goal back in injury time after coming on for her debut.

But Brighton had done enough to go four points clear at the top of the table.

Hillier admitted the Blues were outplayed for long spells.

She added: ‘It was a really gutting result.

‘In the first 10 minutes they did outplay us.

‘They came out and played with a really high tempo.

‘We got back into it – got some possession and created chances.

‘Then we started the second half not too badly but after that they dominated us.’

Pompey are fourth in the table – seven points back with one game in hand.

The Blues travel to fifth-placed Coventry United on Sunday.

It will be another tough match, especially with the hosts gunning for revenge after losing 5-1 to Pompey earlier this season.