Portsmouth Women lift county cup after professional display against Southampton in final
Portsmouth Women secured their 15th Hampshire FA Challenge Cup crown with a 3-1 victory over Southampton at Testwood Stadium on Thursday.
Played in front of a record crowd of 577, the Blues were made to work for their victory over a side second in the league below, writes Barry Clements.
A professional performance ensured that the Hampshire Cup stayed in Portsmouth.
Southampton looked the more relaxed of the two sides in the opening 10 minutes, with a few wayward passes from the Blues as they tried to settle.
But two goals in two minutes put Pompey firmly in the driving seat.
The first was a fine strike from player-of-the-match Danielle Rowe on the edge of the box, following Jade Bradley’s corner.
The second came almost immediately after, with Shannon Albuery tapping home from close range following a mix-up at the back.
Portsmouth dominated the rest of the first half, and a deserved third goal came just before the break.
Pompey hit the Saints on the counter, with Rachel Panting, Albuery and Bradley bearing down on goal.
Bradley took aim from the edge of the area and smashed home Pompey’s third of the night.
After the break, Southampton looked desperate for an early goal and started at a frantic pace.
Portsmouth were a threat on the counter, with the pace of Panting and Katie James causing problems for the Saints at the back.
They finally found the back of the net just after the hour mark, scoring following a corner.
Pompey looked comfortable for the remaining 20 minutes and controlled the game well to play out the 3-1 win.
With two cups and two record attendances it has been a great week to be a Pompey fan.