Sponsored by Adopt South
Portsmouth Women 1 Southampton Women 1 – Portsmouth won 3-2 on penalties.
The much anticipated clash in the Hampshire Football Association's Senior Women's Cup Final between old rivals, Portsmouth and Southampton Women's teams took place at Havant's Draper Tools Community Stadium on Wednesday 19th May 2021. Pompey were the current cup holders and were seeking a formidable 12th consecutive cup win. This was the Covid delayed 2019-20 final and the first to admit spectators since the lockdown had been eased. As a result some 1,203 fans saw two evenly matched teams play out a fascinating match. The fans mixed well, the game was played in a sporting way and the standard of play was a credit to Women's football.
Like the Men's Senior cup final played a few weeks ago, the Women's final resulted in a draw and a penalty shoot-out and like the Men's the Women's featured a goalkeeper as Player of the Match Award winner.
Pompey opened well and brought the Saint's 'keeper Kayla Rendell into early action and they went into the lead in 11th minute when awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Up stepped skipper Jade Bradley who scored at the near post.
This early goal and Pompey's press threw the Saints back on the defence but a breakaway looked promising as Pompey's 'keeper Hanna Haughton advanced to the edge of her box to save with her feet from Ella Pusey. Caitlin Morris then worked down the right and crossed for Pusey, whose header was cleared from the line by Jazmin Younger and in the next attack a cross shot by Saints' Rachel Panting curled just outside the far post.
Goal chances, however, were few and far between for both teams but Pompey had a good chance to increase their lead just before half time when Jade Widdows should have chipped the 'keeper when well placed but she chose to shoot and was well wide. Shannon Albuery also had a chance to score but Rendell stood up well to block the shot.
The second half opened with Saints on the attack and they got back on even terms in the 57th minute when Panting put in a penetrating run from Lucia Kendall’s pass and curled home a superb shot.
As Saints pressed chances fell to Phoebe Williams and Pusey and both went close.The spotlight fell on Pompey's defence where Younger and Jade Widdows were solid backed by the lively Haughton in goal who brought off two good saves. With time running out Haughton kept Pompey in the cup when a cross from Rosie Parnell looked goal-bound after an initial shot from Phoebe Williams had been blocked by Younger, but she saved and cleared.
Both sides made multiple substitutions in the latter half of the game, perhaps bringing on penalty takers as the dreaded shoot off loomed.
Katie James and Mia Adaway nudged Pompey into a 2 -0 lead at the start of the penalties and then Haughton made a flying save from Saints' Shannon Sievwight. Unfortunately for Pompey , Freya Jones shot well over the bar but were back in the game when Haughton saved Georgie Freeland’s spot kick and then Danielle Rowe moved them closer to the cup with another successful kick.
Pompey's Ava Rowbotham then stepped up to potentially win the cup but her shot well save by Kayla Rendell to thwart her. Rendell then took centre stage to take the Saints' last penalty, goalkeeper on goalkeeper, but unfortunately although she beat Haughton the ball clipped the crossbar, immediately the Pompey players rushed upfield to celebrate the victory.
The match was sponsored by Adopt South who picked Hannah Haughton to receive the Player of the Match Award. The Referee was Andrew Bailey who was Assisted by Anne-Marie Godfrey and Keith Jackson and the Reserve Official was Paul Hicks.
Pompey: Hannah Haughton, Danielle Rowe, Jazmin Younger, Rebekah Tonks, Hayley Bridge, Ava Rowbotham, Jade Bradley (c) (Laura Ingram 75), Katherine Cunningham (Mia Adaway 64), Jade Widdows (Freya Jones 85), Shannon Albuery, Katie James, Eilidh Currie and Abigail Mason. Manager – Jay Sadler, Physio – Rosie Castle.
Saints: Kayla Rendell, Ella Morris, Shelley Provan, Rosie Parnell, Phoebe Williams, Ella Pusey, Shannonn Sievwight, Caitlin Morris, Lucia Kendall (Alisha Ware, 88), Rachel Panting (Sophia Pharoah, 74), Milly Mott (Georgie Freeland, 56), Sarah Luce and Kirsty Whitton. Manager – Marienne Spacey-Cale, Physio – Tom Sowter.