Report | Blooming marvellous for Southampton


Portishead couldn't keep Erin Bloomfield at bay on Sunday. Photo credit Ken Dear

Erin Bloomfield's hat-trick fired Southampton Women's into the Second Round of the Women's FA Cup.


The Reds won 4-0 at Romsey Town against Portishead Town, Bloomfield scoring the first of her trio either side of the break.


Jane Yeates scored her ninth goal of the season before Bloomfield sealed with the win from the penalty spot.


With players returning to the squad and Rose Kite away with the England under-19s there were four changes to the starting line-up.


Nat Bavister back from a football tour of Australia for the Armed Forces football team started, with Lauren Clark and E-J May also returning to the team. Millie Peake stepped in to go in goal.


Both teams started well as they pushed for an early goal, Portishead's Chloe Fensome the busier goalkeeper.


Fensome excellently parried Laura Vokes' effort before claiming a corner ball with Philippa Holden lurking.


E-J May had the first real effort of the match, taking a touch around the defence into space but was denied by the woodwork.


Portishead launched attacks; Emily Lindsey got in behind Kellie Warren only to be thwarted by Holden and then Bavister worked well to force Shannon Holloway to hit the side netting.


Just passed the half-hour mark Southampton found the breakthrough.


Clark launching the ball into the box with Bloomfield beating the offside to control the ball around Fensome before slotting into the empty net.


Southampton worked the ball around the pitch well and dealt with the strength of Portishead but couldn't find the right ball into the box as Fensome continued to claim well.


The hosts edged the game at the break with Portishead giving the Southampton backline food for thought on the counter.


Two minutes after the restart Bloomfield doubled the advantage.


A lovely floated cross from Vokes connected with the striker's standing leg just beating Fensome who couldn't keep the ball out, Warren also made sure the ball smashed back into the goal.


Southampton had come out in full force and in the 51st minute, they made it 3-0.


Holden's cross found Bloomfield but Hannah Fletcher blocked well however, Yeates was quicker to react slotting the ball on the volley past the defender and in.


It was a good day for the Southampton defence, centre-back duo Warren and Gracie White always looking comfortable on the ball and looked to add to the attack driving out from the back.


Ruby Lowe scuffed a shot under pressure from Hannah Samuels.


The woodwork rattled again as Clark went close and then substitute Kayleigh Tonks narrowly missed from her curling strike.


Tonks was making a nuisance of herself since coming on, using her pace down the wing to create more chances but in the 77th minute, the attacker was fouled inside the box.


Penalty for Southampton, the last few had been missed so who would take it this time?


Bloomfield on a hat-trick stepped up and with no theatrics neatly slotted the ball into the goal.

Erin Bloomfield just making sure everyone knows how many she scored. Photo credit Ken Dear,

The visitors pushed although looking for a consolation goal at least as the time ticked down but some strong defending continued to deny them.


There was a couple of chances for Bloomfield and Bavister but they were well defended by Portishead, including a great save from Fensome denying a fourth goal for the Southampton striker.


Not much injury-time and the game came to close with Southampton progressing to the Second Round of the Women's FA Cup.


Full-time: Southampton 4 Portishead Town 0



In the Second Round Southampton play hosts once again, this time to Tier 3 side Milton Keynes Dons of the FA Women's National League Southern Premier.


The tie will be played on Sunday, December 1st.


Up next though Southampton turn to the Hampshire Cup where Southern Region side Moneyfields visit the Bypass Ground.


This Sunday, November 17th the two sides will meet in the Women's Challenge Cup quarter-finals kick-off 2:00pm.