Southampton hosted rivals Portsmouth, for a high noon showdown, in their first home league match. In wet conditions, it was Southampton that created the first chance of the game. Emma found herself free inside the area, but her shot was smothered smartly by the keeper (3’).
Southampton started to press Portsmouth with Emma and Charlotte both going close. Izzy was forced into her first save from a shot just inside the area (11’) but gathered the ball comfortably.
Emma had a chance to score from Zoe’s assist but shot wide. However, she made amends just two minutes later. Mia Inglis’ pass found Emma and she ran towards the right side of the area and unleashed an unstoppable 25 yds shot over the keeper, into the far corner (15’). 1-0.
Southampton doubled their lead soon after. They were awarded an indirect free kick on the right, midway into the Pompey half. Charlotte swung the ball into the area where it was met by Sky-Louise. She placed a delicate half volley, with her right foot, in off the left post, beyond the keeper (16’). 2-0.
Portsmouth pushed forward to try and get back in the game. Izzy had to clear on the edge of the box, to deny a Pompey forward getting a clear strike on goal (17’). Pompey had another chance to score following a foul by Charlotte on the Pompey No.9. The free kick from a central position some 25 yds out went harmlessly wide of the right post. Soon after, a Pompey corner ended in a volley going past the right post.
Southampton’s back four of Elise, Skye, Charlotte and Megan. along with Izzy in goal. were proving to be a tough nut to crack for the Pompey forwards.
It was Southampton that finished the half the stronger. They went close with a run and shot from Charlotte and with a header from Becky. Lucy Conway went on a run down the right wing and her low cross, into the area, was met by Zoe’s calm side-foot finish, inside the left post (30’). 3-0.
Portsmouth had the chance to cut the deficit just before half time. Izzy was off her line to clear danger and the ball broke to a Pompey forward. With the goal gaping she hit her shot past the right post. H/T 3-0.
At the start of the second half the conditions had worsened with constant heavy rain. Southampton had half chances to increase their lead, but it was Portsmouth that scored next. The No.9 hitting a looping shot inside the right post from the edge of the area (50’). 3-1.
Southampton hit back, Lucy Conway narrowly shot wide on the angle and then saw her header saved, moments later, from Becky’s cross. Becky was again the provider as Ella’s right foot shot cleared the bar (70’)
A minute later there was confusion on and off the pitch. Mia Flood’s late slide tackle had the referee reaching for his book. The spectators on the near side watched as he held the red card above his head. Mia was heard asking for confirmation from Coach Aaron, whether she had to leave the pitch. Pompey then took the free kick with Mia still on. Most spectators looked on in bemusement. After the match the referee confirmed that the offence was just a booking. He said he was unaware that he had brandished the red card and suggested that perhaps he had held up both yellow and red cards together, by accident.
Emma had one further chance to score but the keeper made a fine save tipping the ball over the bar.
The game ending in an entertaining and deserved home win. F/T 3-1.