The Hampshire Women’s Challenge Cup concludes on Wednesday with a South Coast derby between Southampton Women’s and Portsmouth FC Women’s at AFC Totton’s Testwood Stadium.
Reigning champions Portsmouth FCW are looking to retain their title for the 11th time but face a much sterner challenge in Gowan Stares’ side, who have scored 22 goals so far, the highest in the competition.
Their Routes To The Final:
Following a first-round bye, their journey began with a dominant 7-0 victory away at Gosport, with Chelsie Hay grabbing a second half hat-trick.
The quarter final tie that followed against Moneyfields Ladies was a cagey affair to say the least, but a strong display by the FAWNL SW Division One title- chasers meant they deservedly ran out 4-1 winners to book their place in the last four.
Stares’ team were ruthless in their semi-final tie as they dismantled the Warsash Wasps 11-0 thanks to another hattrick for Hay as well as the in-form Emma Pinner.
Labelled as the underdogs, the women in red are certainly a team to not be taken lightly. With the expert coaching of Stares and co, Southampton Women’s FC are a serious threat to the dominance of Portsmouth WFC in this competition, having reached the final for the third time in 3 years (except last year they were removed from the final on a technicality).
Portsmouth FC Women’s:
As last year’s winner’s, Portsmouth also received a bye past the first round, and made light work of second round opponents Eastleigh Ladies, running out 14-0 winners.
It was a repeat of last year’s final in the next round, as Pompey came face to face with Southampton FC Women’s, where the blue side of the south coast prevailed in a narrow 2-1 comeback win, with Shannon Albuery and youngster Alex Collighan scoring a dramatic late winner to ensure their run continued.
Then came the visit of Southampton Saints in the semi-final which was a close and tense encounter. Jay Sadler’s side came out 1-0 winners thanks to the early first half strike from Danielle Rowe as Pompey advanced to their 11th consecutive Challenge Cup final.
Without doubt, Portsmouth are historically dominant in this competition and will prove a tough outfit to break down as they look ahead to achieve their 11th Hampshire FA Cup victory, with 10 of them being earned successively.
Please come down and support your Southampton Women’s as they look to win the Hampshire Womens Challenge Cup on Wednesday 3rd April 2019 at A.F.C. Totton’s Testwood Stadium, Salisbury Road, SO40 2RW.
Tickets are £5 for adults; under 10’s are free. Parking is available at the ground along with a bar, hot food and refreshments. Concessions are £2.
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