Pompey must beat Barnet to banish Villa pain

Jade Kirby
Jade Kirby
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Jamal Lowe. Picture: Mark Robinson

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Vanessa Raynbird has tasked her Pompey troops with bouncing back to form when they face Barnet at Westleigh Park on Sunday.

The Blues have suffered two painful defeats at Aston Villa – in league and league cup.

They will be keen to get those losses out of their system against Barnet, who are bottom of the Premier League national division.

Pompey beat the Bees 2-1 at home in the league cup in March and will want to repeat that victory to spark a good finish to the season.

‘We need to beat Barnet and put the frustration of the defeats to Aston Villa behind us,’ said Blues boss Vanessa Raynbird.

‘It’s a game we are looking forward to and it will be good to be playing at Westleigh Park again.

‘We have won some good games there this season and the girls enjoy playing there.

‘Barnet cannot catch us anyway now, as they lost at the weekend.’

In between the two Villa losses, Pompey smashed Aldershot 13-0 to lift the Hampshire FA Women’s Challenge Cup.

They were in clinical mood against the Southern Region side.

It’s a performance they can look to, to give them confidence in their finishing, despite failing to break down Villa in the 2-0 loss on Sunday.

Pompey know they will have to finish with a flourish in their final five games if they are to have any chance of climbing out of the bottom two.

Raynbird’s side are seven points behind Cardiff but have two games in hand on the Welsh side.

‘We can get out of the bottom two,’ said the Blues boss.

‘But we would probably need to win four out of our last five games.

‘It’s a big ask but we have realistic chances in most of the games.

‘We have beaten Man City twice already and beaten Barnet.

‘Watford – we were close to, and we play Coventry who beat us 1-0 but that was a ridiculous result.

‘Leeds will be the really difficult one as they are a good side.’

Nadine Bazan will hope to figure again, after coming in for the injured Jade Kirby at left-back at Villa.

‘Nadine is quick as lightning,’ said Raynbird.

‘She came out with as much credit as anyone from the Villa game. She gave everything.’