Leeta Rutherford promised Pompey Ladies will take Sunday’s loss to Charlton on the chin and use it as motivation in training this week.
The London outfit were fast, strong, and confident with their finishing as they recorded a 4-1 win against Perry Northeast’s previously unbeaten Blues at Privett Park.
Pompey played their part in the game but Charlton seemed to have a bit more power in challenges and their play looked more incisive.
They were clearly fired up to take the scalp of the defending FA Premier League southern division champions.
Pompey had experienced trio Sadie Blakely, Charley Wilson and Sarah Kempson all unavailable, while Molly Clark was out injured.
Blues centre-back Rutherford felt it was always going to be a difficult game against Charlton, who are now second in the league.
We got beaten up a bit, to be fairLeeta Rutherford
She said: ‘With four key players out of the side it was going to be a tall order.
‘We knew it was going to be a hard game.
‘Playing Charlton, home and away, they always give us a good game.
‘It was frustrating. It’s something we have got to pick up from and go again.
‘We knew they were going to be good and it proved that they were.
‘It’s just one of those days.’
Both sides created chances in the first half but Charlton struck twice to go in 2-0 up at the break.
Gemma Shepherd and Kit Graham netted the goals.
Crucially, the visitors added the third goal after half-time when Pompey were trying to force the play.
Jenny Newman was alert in the box to send the ball into the net after Nikita Whinnett’s shot was blocked.
The Londoners then added a fourth to complete what was an outstanding performance from their team.
Shepherd and Lauren Parsons linked up well to set up Whinnett to score.
Lucy Quinn’s lofted goal proved only a consolation for Pompey Ladies in injury-time.
For Rutherford it was a rare case of Pompey being unable to match their opponents physically.
‘We got beaten up a bit, to be fair,’ she added.
‘They were big, strong physical.
‘We’ve just got to go again and keep fighting. That’s what we are going to do.
‘Every Tuesday we have a fitness, gym session. That’s something we do improve on.
‘We have just got to improve a bit more to compete with sides like this.’
Pompey Ladies host Brighton in the FA Premier League Cup on Sunday at Privett Park (2pm).
– DAVID BRAWN