Pompey arrive at the Pan this Sunday on the back of a lightning fast start to their FAWPL campaign. Despite the heartbreak of conceding a 93rd minute goal at home to Charlton last Sunday, the side had got off to a flyer.
Cardiff were their first scalp, losing 4-1 at Pompey’s new home at Havant and Waterlooville with goals from Shannon Aubery, Molly Clark, Sam Quayle and Nat Stephens. Then a fine 2-1 away win at last week’s visitors, Coventry United, thanks to goals from Quayle and Rachel Panting. Lewes fans know how tough Coventry can be, so respect is due. In between Pompey went to QPR in the league Cup, running our comfortably 3-0 winners, with Clark, Stephens and Jade Widdowson on the scoresheet.
Last season saw two epic encounters under the lights. First, Lewes travelled to Gosport where they found themselves 4-0 down before half time. They fought back with goals from Dani Lane, Kelly Newton and Tammy Waine, but couldn’t quite recover, going down 4-3. At the Pan, Lewes dominated but couldn’t convert. Pompey rode their luck and took their chances, one Lisa Fulgence, then on loan from Brighton, bagging a brace to sink the Rookettes 2-1, Chewy Carter on target for Lewes.
Portsmouth, now enjoying the not inconsiderable attentions of new club owner Michael Eisner, have also signed former Shegull Charley Boswell. With former Lewes ‘keeper Michelle Beazley back between the sticks after a season-long sabbatical, this looks to be the strongest side out of Hampshire since the Blues topped the Table at the end of the 2014/ 15 season.
Lewes manager John Donoghue shared his thoughts on the new-look Pompey side.
“Portsmouth certainly hit the ground running. Beating Cardiff convincingly wasn’t something any of us could have expected last season. Whilst City lost a fair few first team players, that result caught the eye. But it was the away win at Coventry United that really signalled to me Portsmouth’s success in the closed season. They now have a good mix of youth and experience.
We found out last Sunday how tough a competitor Coventry can be. To take the points off them in their own back yard will have taken a big physical effort, so we can expect this afternoon to be entertaining but also competitive.
This game marks the start of a thick and fast run of games for us. Pompey today, Palace here on Wednesday night then off to Chichester in a rearranged match on the 24th. Then it’s back here on the 1st for the visit of West Ham. This is good news for our squad. Training, whist useful for technical work, is no substitute for game time. Our players need that, and against this quality of opposition, to improve in-game communication and fluidity.”
Gates open at 12:30 with kick off at 2pm
Adults £5/ Concessions £3/ Kids under 16 go FREE
Snack hatch and bar will be OPEN