Katie Spooner serves up Portsmouth victory as they close the gap on table-toppers Basingstoke in title race

Top scorer Katie Spooner grabbed the only goal as Portsmouth closed the gap on Hampshire Women’s League Premier Division leaders Basingstoke.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 5:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 1:59 pm
Katie Spooner. Picture: Keith Woodland (091119-104)

With the table-toppers surprisingly held by rock bottom Southampton 2nds, Portsmouth took advantage by beating Fleet and Ewshot.

Portsmouth absorbed a lot of pressure but their back four held firm, allowing the midfield and forwards to break forward.

Jenny Turvey-Warnes and recent arrival Jen Smith are beginning to form a strong central midfield partnership - particularly effective at breaking up opposition attacks and creating openings of their own.

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The first half ended goalless, with Turvey Warnes rattling the crossbar with a tremendous effort from the top of the circle.

After the break the visitors struck early, Spooner working an opening in a crowded circle to smash home on her reverse stick.

Sound goalkeeping from Harriet Read preserved Portsmouth’s clean sheet.

The 2nds ran Hampshire Division 2 leaders Haslemere 2nds all the way before going down 3-2 at home.

Following an early Haslemere strike, Portsmouth levelled through a great finish from Bea Gall,.

A number of fantastic saves from Helen Perriam denied the opposition, but Haslemere converted a loose opportunity to lead at half time.

Perriman made one save with her head and other efforts were cleared off the line by Joni Duffus before Haslemere eventually added a third.

Portsmouth replied through a penalty flick from Nicola Puckett.

Katie Allard was awarded the player of the match award as the 3rds drew 0-0 with Aldershot and Farnham 4ths.

But they closed the gap on second place Fleet & Ewshot to five points as the latter lost 2-0 to leaders Swanage & Wareham.

Third bottom Portsmouth 4ths required a second half leveller to avoid defeat against rock bottom Southampton 5ths in Division 5.

The hosts led at the interval, with keeper Sam Harvey just unable to keep a shot out.

Portsmouth’s determination was summed up in the second half when both Gen Wibberley and Danni Francis sustained large bruises after sliding off the pitch and into a surrounding fence.

Player of the match Andrea Barnes and Michelle Hughes were involved in the build-up which led to Jemma Gard’s leveller.

The 5ths went down 3-0 down to the Isle of Wight - all the goals coming in the second half.