Portsmouth Women to face Southampton in Hampshire Cup
Portsmouth Women go in search of their 11th successive Hampshire Cup when they play host to Southampton Ladies tomorrow (1.45pm).
The Blues claimed last season’s trophy rights when they beat Saints 5-0 in the final.
Now they go head-to-head in the last eight of the 2019 competition, with Jay Sadler’s side keen to get another one over their local rivals.
Club chairman Eric Coleborn expects the game at the PMC Stadium to attract a lot of support from around the city.
‘We're certainly hoping for a big crowd,’ said Coleborn.
‘This will be the first time the teams have met on home soil since Joel Ward's equaliser at Fratton Park in December 2011!
‘A lot of people have been talking about it since the draw was made, and it's all building up to Sunday.
‘The girls are very, very keen to make sure we don't lose to our local rivals.
‘We're looking forward to a great game, because the girls play some excellent football and it's well worth watching.’
Pompey will include Shannon Albuery in their squad, after she rejoined the club from Yeovil.
The forward has a good track record against Southampton, notching a hat-trick in the final at Alton’s Anstey Park last May.
The chairman believes Albuery will prove a good addition to the Blues’ ranks.
‘We've re-signed Shannon from Yeovil, who is a very talented player,’ he said.
‘She's a local girl from Bognor as well. She's been playing against Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League - that's the level she's at.’
FA Women’s National League South side Pompey have been in impressive form in 2019, winning their two two league games.
That came after suffering three successive defeats.
‘We were unfortunate earlier in the season, things didn't go our way,’ added Coleborn.
‘Over Christmas we said it was important to get the year off to a great start – the goal was to win the three first games.
‘We've got a good group of girls here, determined to make sure they stay in the cup, but also try and push their way back up the league.’
Match tickets cost just £5 for adults and £2 for seniors, who can each bring two under-18s along for free.
- ALEX DYER