Argyle Ladies 2 Portsmouth 5
ARGYLE Ladies’ poor home form continues, as the Pilgrims suffered their third loss on the trot on home soil. The Greens were beaten 5-2 by a Portsmouth side who were champions of the division last season.
The game got off to the worst possible start for the home side. With the referees whistle still fresh in the ears of spectators, Argyle found themselves trailing. Michaela Phillips, in-between the sticks for Argyle, parried Lucy Quinn’s shot right into the path of an advancing Ini Umotong, who opened her account of the afternoon with less than a minute played, slotting her effort home into the bottom right corner.
Umotong was starting to become a nuisance for the home side, as the striker continued to pepper the Argyle goal with chances, and the Pilgrims had to dig deep to keep the scoreline down.
Portsmouth did add their second of the game midway through the first half. A whipped cross into the box from Jessica Frampton found the head of a towering Umotong, who slotted in her, and Portsmouth’s, second of the game.
Argyle responded brightly to the further setback, with Katie Middleton and Becky Atkins both coming close to pulling one back for the Pilgrims.
The away side had a chance to go three up ten minutes from the end of the first half, when Pompey were awarded a penalty. Shannon Sievwright looked to put Portsmouth three nil up and cruising, but Phillips in the Argyle goal had other plans, saving the spot-kick and keeping the scoreline at 2-0.
Argyle went in two-down at the break, and manager Kevin Taylor knew that his side were going to need to come out of the blocks fighting in the second half to try and salvage something from the game.
It was almost a carbon copy of the first-half in terms of early goals, as when Argyle were awarded a corner within the first minute of the restart, they found themselves back in the game.
Jessie Jones, who was back in the side following her England U17’s trip to Estonia, headed in Argyle’s first of the afternoon and pulled one back for the Pilgrims.
Portsmouth did however regain their two-goal cushion, courtesy of an unmarked Molly Clark, after she picked up a loose ball in the Argyle box and fired home.
Argyle found themselves two goals down, and a player down, as shortly after being booked for a tackle on a Portsmouth player, Jones was shown her second yellow, following an altercation with the referee.
The away side continued to dominate the second half and added their fourth with 10 minutes to go. Frampton turned from provider to scorer, rocketing home an effort from 15 yards out, after latching herself onto the end of a loose ball, following a corner.
Pompey added their final of the game in the 89th minute, with Sarah Kempson squaring a ball into the advancing Umotong, scoring Portsmouth’s fifth, and her third of the game.
Argyle did however pull one back right at the death from the penalty spot, with Mollie Taylor slotting her effort into the bottom left corner, but it would only count as a consolation, as the referee blew for full-time shortly after, and Argyle’s search for their first point in the League, at home, continues.
Kevin Taylor said that, “Portsmouth were the better side, no doubt about that. At 2-1, we were back in the game, but we’ve given away sloppy goals again, and it was the sloppy goals that killed us.
“We get caught in the hop early on, and it kills us, and it’s an uphill battle for the rest of the 90 minutes.”