Win at Cardiff is big statement of intent from Pompey Ladies

Sadie Blakely kept a clean sheet on Sunday in Wales. Picture: Mick Young
Sadie Blakely kept a clean sheet on Sunday in Wales. Picture: Mick Young
Dan Smith. Picture: Colin Farmery

Cup heartbreak for Pompey talents

0
Have your say

Perry Northeast felt Pompey Ladies made a big statement of intent with their opening-day win at Cardiff.

Shannon Sievwright came off the bench to score a spectacular goal and seal an impressive 1-0 victory for the Blues.

The trip to Wales is traditionally one of the most difficult fixtures on the calendar in the FA Premier League southern division.

Before last season the Blues had never won there.

They broke that duck with a 1-0 success in April on their way to winning the league title.

That was a pivotal result and Sunday’s could well prove to be another significant step – albeit only the first match of a long season.

Teams dread going to Cardiff so to win there on the opening day of the season is no mean feat

Perry Northeast

Northeast said: ‘Teams dread going to Cardiff so to win there on the opening day of the season is no mean feat.

‘It’s a great start for us. It was almost an identical game to when we won there last season.

‘Cardiff are very tough, very physical.

‘I think they will be up there going for the title.

‘They have some strong players who can really hurt and damage teams.

‘Our players grafted and deserved to keep a clean sheet.’

Sievwright scored the winner in the second half, almost immediately after stepping off the bench.

Defensively, Pompey were solid and new signing Paige Atkinson shone on her league debut for the club at centre-back.

Northeast was comfortable watching on as his players showed great experience and game nous to pass the first test of their title defence.

He said: ‘The players are talking and communicating well on the pitch.

‘Without needing my input from the side, the organisation was really good and the players were able to execute the game plan.’

Meanwhile, Northeast’s England Ladies Beach Soccer side head to Switzerland this week.

Pompey contingent Sadie Blakely, Sarah Kempson, Molly Clark, Gemma Hillier and Lucy Quinn have been named in the squad.

Chichester City trio Jenna Fowlie, Kally Ambler and Emma Alexandre are also selected, along with former Pompey Ladies keeper Roxy Roberts.

England face the hosts in a friendly on Friday night.

Northeast believes his squad will be stronger than the last time they met the Swiss – who are a global force in the game of beach soccer.

He said: ‘It will be a good experience.

‘Switzerland are the world hot shots in beach soccer.

‘We have lost to them twice but that was in our introductory year as a team.

‘So it would be good to get a victory this time.

‘We’ve been training on the sand in Portsmouth and all the players in our squad have international experience now.’