Portsmouth Hockey Club’s women managed to edge a free-flowing encounter with a 3-1 success against Fleet and Ewshot in the Hampshire Premier League.
The sides matched each other in what resembled a game of basketball, rather than hockey.
Each side seemed to take turns to attack with considerable pace and skill.
The biggest surprise, given the open game, was that it took until almost the hour for the first goal.
This was largely due to the impressive form of Harriet Read in the Portsmouth goal and her counterpart between the sticks for Fleet and Ewshot.
It took a flash of individual brilliance from Katie Spooner to break the deadlock as she picked the ball up on the halfway line and drove through the visitors’ defence to smack the ball past the diving keeper.
Fleet equalised but they were caught out celebrating as Portsmouth struck again.
Spooner punished their complacency with her second.
Any thoughts of being put under late pressure were almost immediately banished.
Another fast Portsmouth breakaway led to Lauren Stewart slamming home a rebound to extend the home team’s lead.
It wasn’t the most convincing win overall despite the 3-1 score.
But certainly it was a great entertainment for the vociferous crowd.
Portsmouth have a few things to tighten up before next week’s visit to Bournemouth.
The women's second team suffered a loss away at Haslemere. Having a rough start they were 3-0 down by half time.
However, after an inspiring team talk, Portsmouth came back fighting.
They gained a short corner which was taken with a slip to Fiona Bingham, who surprised herself with a goal, bringing the score to 3-1.
Haslemere responded and managed to work their way to gaining another goal.
Portsmouth fought back forcing another short corner where Nicky Puckett managed to beat the keeper making the final score 4-2.
A joint player of the match was given to both Fiona Bingham and Sam Hassall.
Portsmouth women’s third team continued their undefeated streak in an away game to Aldershot and Farnham 4s. A tough, face paced game saw Portsmouth trail by 1 about fifteen minutes in.
A goal from Steph Lowry equalled the score before half-time.
Portsmouth came back stronger than ever after half-time with goals from Michaela Chandler and Jane Noble to secure the win with a convincingly dominant performance in the second half.
The Portsmouth women’s fourth team took a full squad to their fixture against Southampton and quickly took advantage of a new Southampton.
Brilliant passes and tackles saw the Portsmouth side rewarded early in the game as Michelle Hughes made it 1-0 with a cracking shot across the D.
Portsmouth continued with the great play and were rewarded with a short corner, Laura Burden dispatching the shot past the keeper.
Southampton were keen not to go down without a fight and clawed back a goal just before half-time.
Portsmouth weren’t finished yet and Michelle netted twice more in the second half benefiting from the hard work and effort of her team mates.
Unfortunately Portsmouth were unable to make it five as Michelle Hughes failed to beat the Southampton keeper with a penalty flick.
Player of the match was awarded to Katie Allard.
The Portsmouth women’s fifth team travelled to the Isle of Wight to play their first league game.
They were faced with a very young, very skilled and well trained team and due to an unsettled start went 2-0 down in the first 10 minutes.
After winning two short corners and failing to convert their opportunities Portsmouth entered the break empty handed.
The Isle of Wight, however, countered with some quick breaks and scored two further times before the break.
The Portsmouth side came out strongly in the second half but were still unable to see a goal.
Player of the match was jointly awarded to Lizzie Mason and Freya Mein.
Reports compiled by Luke Parsons