Umotong treble keeps Pompey’s title assault going

Ini Umotong''. ''Picture: Jordan Hampton
Ini Umotong''. ''Picture: Jordan Hampton
  • Pompey come from behind to beat Gillingham
  • Umotong came on and scored a second-half hat-trick
  • Ladies invited for lap of honour at Fratton Park on Saturday
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Perry Northeast was impressed with the cool and collected manner in which Pompey Ladies beat Gillingham 4-1 on Sunday.

The Blues had to come from behind but stuck to their guns to win the match.

Ini came off the bench and had a fantastic impact on the game, which we thought she would

Perry Northeast

Ini Umotong scored a second-half hat-trick with Gemma Hillier adding a fourth late on.

Northeast’s side are three points clear at the top of the FA Premier League southern division with two games remaining.

Lauren Phillips gave the home side a surprise lead just after the half-hour mark with a stunning long-range effort.

It took Pompey until the 56th minute to draw level, after Umotong, who had only just come on as a substitute, scored when Gillingham failed to clear a cross.

The Nigerian international then showed her class to score twice more and put her side in the driving seat for another three points.

‘Considering how the game panned out, the scoreline was a bit tough because Gillingham defended very resolutely in the first half,’ said Northeast.

‘They did open the scoring with a good strike but it didn’t put us off our stride.

‘They were getting bodies on the line and blocking all our shots but it’s very difficult for any team to maintain that for 90 minutes.

‘We knew what we had to do to get back into the game.

‘I was happy with the calmness and the collected nature of the team at half-time even though we were 1-0 down. There was no panic or pressure put on.

‘I’m happy the players stuck to the game plan and the goals duly came in the second half.’

Northeast highlighted Umotong’s match-winning performance.

‘Ini came off the bench and had a fantastic impact on the game, which we thought she would,’ he said.

‘It was a game-changer for us. She came on against an already-tired defence and that really helped her.

‘She thrived on it.’

The Blues have certainly been turning heads this season and the men’s team have recognised that by inviting them to Pompey’s season finale at Fratton Park.

The ladies will complete a lap of the pitch prior to the match against York on Saturday.

And Northeast is delighted his squad have the opportunity to walk out in front of thousands of supporters.

He said; ‘They’ve invited us to do a lap of the pitch, which is amazing.

‘The girls will get to go out in front of 15,000 fans.

‘There was a look of astonishment, especially for those who have been at the club for a long time.

‘It’ll be a great day for the club.

‘I hope they receive a good reception from the Pompey fans.

‘It’s another motivational tool for when we play QPR at home on Sunday.’