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Portsmouth FC Ladies 0 - 2 Notts County Ladies

Joe Jones

Notts County Ladies have reached the semi-finals of the FA Women’s Cup after seeing off Portsmouth FC Ladies 2-0 at Privett Park, thanks to second-half strikes from Sophie Bradley and Jess Clarke.

The home side, currently plying their trade in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division, were on the back foot from the off, and within five minutes, Dunia Susi set up Clarke who powered forward towards goal and forced Portsmouth goalkeeper Sadie Blakely to make a good save.

Just two minutes later, the in-form Clarke sent a cross towards Caitlin Friend who unleashed a powerful half volley on target and forced another stop from Blakely. Then, Susi was next to test Pompey after Friend squared to the 26-year-old, but with the ball bouncing awkwardly, her subsequent effort flew over.

The home side’s first foray on goal was in the 12th minute when Notts conceded a free kick in a dangerous position, but Lucy Quinn’s effort was well cleared by Bradley, while just three minutes later, Notts goalkeeper Carly Telford accidentally cleared the ball to Pompey striker Charley Wilson, but her subsequent effort flew wide of the mark.

On the half-hour mark, the visitors were nearly gifted a goal when a Sophie Walton free kick connected with a Pompey defender and bobbled just past her own post.

The Notts dominance showed no signs of abating in the latter stages of the first half, with Katie Holtham being set up by Susi and blasting the ball just wide of the Pompey post, while in injury time, Susi managed to prod the ball into the net from a woodwork rebound, but the referee flagged her as offside.

Despite the Lady Pies showing their superiority against their smaller opponents, the first half would end (officially) goalless.


It was a case of as you were in the second half, as the Lady Pies continued to exert constant pressure against Portsmouth, save for a chance in the 64th minute that had to be blocked by Amy Turner.

Eventually, Notts managed to break the deadlock, having to wait until the 72nd minute to do so. Following a corner kick, the ball flew to Bradley, and her thumping header soared into the top corner past the hapless Blakely.

Much like buses, when you wait ages for one then two come at once, the second bus… I mean, the second goal, came just three minutes later, as Clarke finally got herself on the score sheet thanks to a calm finish past the onrushing Blakely. Credits go to Friend for setting up the 24-year-old with a well-calculated headed through-pass.

The second goal virtually meant game over, as the beleaguered Pompey Ladies were down and out by this point, and as the final whistle went, the Lady Pies could celebrate their passage to the FA Women’s Cup semi-finals - they will go on to face Everton Ladies, venue to be confirmed.

The tie is due to be played on the weekend of 10/11th May.

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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