Pompey step up to take Hampshire Cup glory

Shannon Sievwright and Jess Hampton celebrate. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Shannon Sievwright and Jess Hampton celebrate. Picture: Jordan Hampton
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Perry Northeast was proud of his young side after they were crowned Hampshire FA Challenge Cup champions by beating Southampton Saints 4-1.

The Blues were heavy favourites going into the tie at Gosport Borough’s Privett Park but they were made to work hard for the trophy.

Two goals in a five-minute spell in the first half put Pompey in control of the tie.

Shannon Sievwright and Chloe Dark were the goalscorers.

Southampton came back in the second half but Nigerian international Ini Umotong came off the bench and scored twice to seal the victory.

Pompey manager Northeast said: ‘I’m really happy with our win.

‘There was an unbelievable crowd and a crowd that ladies football should be proud of from both Portsmouth and Southampton.

‘We put a young side out. I just wanted to see courage from some of these young girls.

‘We had a lot of teenagers out there.

‘There were times in the game when Southampton were putting in good, strong tackles but Chloe Dark got up and so did Tiff Taylor, and that’s all I can ask for.

‘Ini Umotong didn’t win the tie for us but she secured it and made it easier for us with her two goals.’

Pompey’s first 11 had a youthful look to it, with 17-year-old Eilidh Currie at centre-back, along with teenagers Ellie Bloomfield, Sievwright and Dark.

Umotong, who fractured and dislocated her finger in last weekend’s defeat to Charlton, started on the bench.

The Blues asserted their authority immediately from kick-off.

They had a shot palmed away by the goalkeeper and then Tiff Taylor’s dipping strike cannoned off the crossbar.

Pompey’s early dominance set the tone for the rest of the half, with plenty of long-range efforts on target.

Southampton, meanwhile, struggled to create any chances of note.

Sievwright finally opened the scoring on 27 minutes with a lovely strike into the top right-hand corner.

Dark doubled the lead just five minutes later with an unstoppable shot to the keeper’s right.

However, Southampton managed to reduce the deficit early in the second period after a mistake from Pompey’s keeper Michelle Beazley.

The ball fell straight to ex player Jemma Tewkesbury and she slotted the ball home.

The turning point of the second half was the introduction of Umotong for Dark just after the hour mark.

The striker’s inviting cross was met by Gemma Hillier and her header was well saved by the keeper.

Umotong was involved in much of Pompey’s attacking play and she finally got on the scoresheet with 10 minutes to go.

Taylor’s cross was headed in at the back post to make it 3-1.

The fourth goal was scored deep into stoppage time and was a superb solo effort by Umotong.

The Blues forward turned her defender, ran into the box and produced a lovely dinked finish over the keeper to wrap up the tie.

Her performance earned her the man-of-the-match award.

Pompey: Beazley, Frampton, Bazan, Bloomfield, Taylor, Dark, Currie, Rutherford, Hillier, Wilson, Sievwright