JAY SADLER is hoping to guide Pompey Ladies to a 10th successive Hampshire Challenge Cup success.
The club have been the dominant force in the county but had to overcome a big scare from Basingstoke Town at Furze Lane on Sunday.
Pompey fell behind twice before eventually winning 5-2 to reach the semi-finals.
Gemma Hillier, Rebekah Tonks, Nadine Bazan all netted in the first half for the Blues as they came from 1-0 down and then 2-1 down to lead 3-2.
Samantha Quayle then netted twice in the second half to wrap up the victory.
Pompey have won the competition for the past nine seasons and boss Sadler is keen to make it a perfect 10.
That obviously brings some pressure as teams look at Pompey as the favourites.
But after a slow start against Basingstoke the Blues managed to move through the gears to wrap up the victory.
Sadler said: ‘It took us a while to get into the game.
‘I’m not sure what it was, I don’t think it was complacency as such.
‘We have won this competition nine years on the bounce and obviously we will be expected to win it again.’
‘That can bring some pressure.
‘We were playing a team from a league below us but I think we’ve started games slowly in the past.
‘It’s something we need to work on as a team to make sure we come out of the blocks all guns blazing.
‘I don’t know if it is a fitness issue or a mental issue but we will work on it.
‘Once we got going we were really exciting in spells.
‘We moved through the gears and put in a good performance.
‘It was a professional performance overall.’
Basingstoke took the lead early on.
Captain Hillier struck to make it 1-1, before the visitors then got the second.
Tonks and Bazan got the on scoresheet to put Pompey ahead before half-time.
Quayle’s double then saw off the FA Premier League south west division one side.
Sadler recalled Ellie Bloomfield to the first team and she was impressive.
Melissa Burns, Ellie Kirby, Vicky Carleton and Lauren Peck were also given call-ups.
They all performed well and provided food for thought for future matches.
Pompey will meet either Southampton Saints or Winchester City Flyers, who play on Sunday, in the semi-finals of the Hampshire Challenge Cup.
This round of the competition will be played on Sunday, February 19.
Caretaker boss Sadler takes his team to Crystal Palace on Sunday as they get back to FA Premier League southern division action.