The Fleet’s Adobe Women’s FA Cup run came to an end after third-tier Portsmouth booked a place in the third round, writes Katie Humphris.
Portsmouth came out attacking from the start, creating a series of chances, threatening the Fleet defence but it was Beth Lumsden that earned the visitors their first shot on target. In the 13th minute, Portsmouth were awarded a free kick and Emma Jones stepped up to take but her shot clipped the post.
In the 18th minute, Portsmouth found the breakthrough. Sophie Quirk drove the ball forward, skipped past the Fleet defence and slotted a pass to Lumsden who fired the ball home from the byline to hand the visitors the lead.
A second for Portsmouth soon arrived minutes later. A quick link-up between Jones and Quirk eventually saw the ball drop to Georgie Freeland who nudged the ball home.
The Fleet claimed their first chance of the match when Amy Russ opted to shoot from range but her effort dragged wide. Despite that promising sign from the Fleet, Portsmouth made it three, Jones on the scoresheet this time around. Lumsden laid a ball into the path of the No.9 from where she drove the ball towards goal.
The third tier side continued to enjoy most of the ball and Fleet keeper Courtney Roberts produced a number of heroic saves to keep the visitors at bay but the fourth would eventually arrive. Quirk carried the ball towards goal and skipped past Roberts to secure Pompey’s fourth. There would be time for a fifth before the half-time whistle when a wonder strike from Quirk from 20 yards left the Fleet keeper stranded as the visitors continued to showcase their higher league status.
Following an action packed first half, the second 45 minutes awaited. The Fleet slowly settled into the match creating a series of chances but nothing too threatening for Hannah Houghton who was between the sticks for Pompey. Portsmouth made it six when Freeland secured her second of the match. Lovely play from the visitors saw Jones link up with Pompey’s number 14 to slot the ball past Roberts.
Fleet sub Amelia Woodgate almost found a consolation goal, forcing Houghton into action as she pushed the ball past the post. Despite the Fleet giving it their all to find a goal, Portsmouth would claim their seventh, Lumsden finding the back of the net once again.
The Fleet continued to push in search for a goal to reduce the deficit but Portsmouth held on to the clean sheet as they proceeded to the next round.
EUFC: Roberts, Waud, Grieve, Porter, Simmons, O’Shea, Russ, Reynolds, Jestin,, Murton, Carlton. Subs: Naismith, Iron, Fulgence, A Woodgate, Wills, M Woodgate, Charles
PFC: Houghton, Barrett, Younger, Rowbotham, Jones, Quirk, Freeland, Wild, Hall, Lumsden, Casley.
Subs: Bowers, Humphrey, Lane, Pitman, Cousins, Walker
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