‘Poor’ Pompey pay price for panic

'POMPEY LADIES (SPORT) MRW 3/3/2013 ''Portsmouth FCL (blue+white) v Manchester City LFC (maroon+maroon)'held at West Leigh Park on Sunday ''Pompey Ladies goalkeeper - Sadie Blakely ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (13621-2613)
'POMPEY LADIES (SPORT) MRW 3/3/2013 ''Portsmouth FCL (blue+white) v Manchester City LFC (maroon+maroon)'held at West Leigh Park on Sunday ''Pompey Ladies goalkeeper - Sadie Blakely ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (13621-2613)
Pompey suffered defeat at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss pledges to resolve defensive issues

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Vanessa Raynbird pulled no punches over ‘poor’ Pompey Ladies as they fell to their second defeat in a week to Aston Villa.

The Blues went down to a 2-0 loss to the midlands outfit in their Premier League national division clash.

That followed on from a 2-1 defeat in the Premier League Cup semi-final last week.

Manager Raynbird had no qualms with the game’s outcome as the home side picked up a deserved success.

However, she pinpointed a number of missing players as a factor in her team’s loss.

Pompey had four key players unavailable, with Shelly Cox, Jade Kirby, Kaylee Schumann-Edwards and Jemma Tewkesbury all missing.

After starting brighter in the cup clash, Pompey were second best to their opponents this time around.

Charley Wilson had the side’s best chance when a shot grazed the bar.

But that was the best effort the side could carve out, with Villa having much the better of proceedings.

Pompey had keeper Sadie Blakely to thank for keeping the score down – as she made a number of decent stops.

Raynbird admitted there was an air of panic about her side’s play as they went down to the loss.

She said: ‘It was not a good day.

‘We were poor. It was very disappointing.

‘They turned the tables on us from the start after we were the better side in the first half of the league cup tie.

‘We were missing four quality players.

‘It was a big ask to go there and get a result without them.

‘Defence wasn’t so much the problem for us but we had a few gaps there.

‘Panic set in, in places, and we lost our shape a little bit.

‘Sadie Blakely kept us in it with some good saves.

‘Charley Wilson had a shot that skimmed the bar which was about as close as we came.

‘We did not have much in the way of chances.’

Raynbird was lifted by an improvement in Pompey’s performance after the interval against Villa.

She felt a pitch which wasn’t conducive to playing decent football was another factor in the loss.

‘It was a very scrappy game,’ said Raynbird.

‘We never looked up for it to start with.

‘The players said they felt a bit lethargic. Our tempo wasn’t good. It was a horrible game to watch.

‘We had a word at half-time. We were letting them dictate and we are a better side than that.

‘We played better in the second half.

‘I will be glad to see the back of that pitch, though.

‘You cannot get hold of the ball. It is just a sea of dust in the middle.’

Raynbird’s side will return to league duty this Sunday when they entertain Barnet at Westleigh Park (2pm).