Portsmouth Women aiming to hit back against Eastleigh after unfortunate Loughborough defeat

Rachel Panting scored for Pompey Women at Loughborough. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Rachel Panting scored for Pompey Women at Loughborough. Picture: Jordan Hampton
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Jay Sadler has no doubt Pompey Women will rally quickly and get back on track after the 2-1 defeat at Loughborough Foxes.

The Blues were beaten in the National League southern premier division contest despite a good attacking performance.

Esther Anu had some chances for Pompey Women. Picture: Jordan Hampton

Esther Anu had some chances for Pompey Women. Picture: Jordan Hampton

An unfortunate own goal saw Loughborough collect the points.

Sadler leads his team into the Hampshire Cup tie against Eastleigh on Sunday at the PMC Stadium (2pm).

And the Blues doesn’t feel they will suffer any unwanted hangover from the Foxes defeat.

He was pleased with the way the team performed despite not getting the result.

The cup match will give them a chance to be straight back on song.

He said: ‘The defeat was a tough one to take. Football can be a cruel game at times.

‘I can’t fault the girls, their attitude, their application and the preparation for the game has been superb.

‘We went toe-to-toe with them.

‘The players performed well and we will take some positives into the game against Eastleigh.’

Rachel Panting had cancelled out Becky Knight’s opener in the first half, only for an own-goal to secure the points for the Foxes.

Sadler made two changes to the side after the 11-0 friendly victory over Brentford.

Rebekah Tonks came in for the injured Jazz Younger, while Daisy McLachlan replaced EJ May in the starting line-up.

The Blues seemed to get in the groove quite quickly and began creating chances.

Eilidh Currie and Hannah Geer combined well to win a corner.

The ball was played to Tonks who had a shot saved by Loughborough keeper Laura Parsons.

But it was the hosts who took the lead.

Knight was in the right place to head home Laura Steele’s corner.

Pompey didn’t let their heads drop and hit back immediately.

Panting finished well after Esther Anu’s cross to make it 1-1 at the break.

Early in the second half skipper Amelia Southgate got the ball clear for Pompey when Loughborough pushed forward.

But the next goal did go to the home side and it was against the run of play.

Pompey keeper Robyn Levett could not hold the ball in the box after a header and it rebounded into the net off Currie.

McLachlan had a shot well saved in response.

The forward then crashed another effort narrowly wide.

After this Anu had two good chances but first she fired at Parsons when clean through.

The winger then shot wide of an open goal in the latter stages of the game.

It was a cruel defeat on the team who had shown their determination and desire as well as creating lots of opportunities.

Pompey’s manager praised the approach from his side and the way they kept going in the game.

Sadler added: ‘In the second half we upped it in class.

‘We were able to switch the ball and utilise the two versus ones in the wide areas. We created a host of clear-cut chances.

‘Unfortunately it is the same message, we are simply not taking those chances.

‘The players fought to the death. They could have won the game four or five one on another day. They should have won the game four or five one.

‘I would be worried if we weren’t making the chances, or if we were getting carved open week in, week out.

‘But the level of professionalism and the performance was superb. It just wasn’t meant to be.’

After the match against Eastleigh, Pompey return to league action with an away trip to Cardiff City on Sunday, November 25 (2pm).