Womens Challenge Cup Final Report and Highlights
HAMPSHIRE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION WOMEN'S CHALLENGE CUP FINAL CUP FINAL
Southampton Women's FC 1 Portsmouth FC Women 3 – played at AFC Totton on Wednesday 3rd April 2019
The eagerly awaited South Coast County cup final derby was expected to be a close affair as over the last few seasons Southampton have been closing the gap between the two clubs and hopes were high for a victory.
It took both sides a while to settle and Pompey were the first to fire a shot in anger but the ball was cleared and the first to be awarded a corner but they were certainly not in control of the game.
The break through, however, came in the 15th minute when a pass back away from the the Southampton goal but in their penalty area reached Danielle Rowe who shot home through a crowded box.
A minute later Pompey took control of the half when a cross to Katie James resulted in her laying off a short ball to Shannon Albuery who netted from close range.
As Pompey pressed forward Southampton 'keeper Issy Foster was kept busy making three good saves but Southampton hit back and Hannah Samuels shot over the bar when well placed. With Pompey now under pressure and with Southampton pushed well up the pitch they caught them on the break, Jade Bradley broke free put in a long run and shot from well outside the box. Foster appeared to get a hand to the ball but pushed it onto the post rebounding it into the net (37th minute).
Pompey could have further increased their lead a few minutes later when Albuery rounded the 'keeper but shot wide.
If Pompey dominated the first half, Southampton shaded the second and started strongly by making two substitutions with Nat Bavister replacing Chelsie Hay and Emma Pinner replacing Manu Naprta.
Using the long ball well Pompey utilised the flanks as they broke free and Rach Panting missed a sitter when well placed.
Southampton were back in the game in the 68th minute when a corner was knocked back to Bavister who beat 'keeper Mel Burns with a long range shot. Southampton then made their last substitution in order the press home their advantage, bringing on Kayleigh Tonks for Kirsty Whitton (76th minute).
As the game continued to favour the team in red at this stage Pompey countered by making two substitutions, bringing on Ellie Kirby for Carla Perkins (79th minute) and EJ May for Katie James (88th minute) and this steadied the ship and right at the death Rach Panting looked to have made Pompey safe but missed a good chance.
This was Pompey's 11th consecutive County cup win also setting a record and their 15th occasion on which they had won this cup, another record.
Photo courtesy of @offcialpompeyw
The torrential rain before kick-off did not deter the supporters and a record crowd for a Hampshire County Women's Challenge Cup Final was registered at 577
Photo - @officialpompeyw
Whilst watching the match I had a chat with the Chairman of the host club, AFC Totton, Wayne Mew, and he remarked that it was good to see Southampton and Portsmouth fans mingling and singing together, a credit to Hampshire F.A. football and womens' football.
The Referee was Chloe-Ann Anderson and her Assistants were Cashel O'Neil and David Bowley-Booth. The Fourth Official was Derek Smith.
The match was sponsored by the Hampshire County Womens' League and the match ball was sponsored by The Double Tree at the Hilton.
The player of the match Award went to Portsmouth's Danielle Rowe.
The Squads: Southampton Women's – Issy Foster, Tash Angel, Kellie Warren, Hannah Samuels, Rosie Kirby, Philippa Holden, Roxy Lee-Stewart, Kirtsty Whitton, Jane Yeates, Chelsie Hay, Laura Da Silva, Kayleigh Tonks, Emma Pinner, Manu Naprta, Tia Hooper and Nat Bavister.
Portsmouth FC Women – Ellie Kirby, Danielle Rowe, Amelia Southgate, Rach Panting, Katie James, Shannon Albuery, Mel Burns, Jade Bradley, Rebekah Tonks, Jazz Younger, Carla Perkins, E J May and Eilidh Currie.
Words by John Moody.
Video Highlights kindly provided by Solent Women's Sport.