A ruthless Portsmouth side eased into the second round of the FA Cup by beating Fulham Women 9-1 at Motspur Park yesterday afternoon.
Beth Lumsden claimed the matchball with a predatory hat-trick as Sophie Quirk and Emma Jones bagged braces with Ava Rowbotham and Ella Humphrey completing a comprehensive victory for the south coast side. Megalie Mendes squeezed in a clever free-kick to score a consolation for the Whites, who battled bravely to the end despite the obvious gulf in class and Steve Jaye’s side will now turn their attention to their Capital Cup tie against Arsenal’s academy at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts nearly took a shock lead when Madi Parsonson’s in-swinging corner glanced the top of the crossbar, but it didn’t take long for the visitors to demonstrate their firepower in the final third. Georgie Freeland saw a shot saved by Ellie Parker after she pounced on some defensive hesitation and Pompey went in front in the tenth minute. Fulham failed to clear their lines allowing the lively Jones to feed Quirk, who curled over Parker from the edge of the box, having moved into a pocket of space.
Jones doubled the lead when she bent a free-kick around the wall and past Parker at the near post after an Ella Tagliavini foul twenty yards out. Pompey enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and restricted Fulham to the odd long-range effort, such as an audacious strike from Rebecca Barron-Clark, but only extended their advantage just before half-time. Quirk outpaced Olivia Dale and cut the ball back for Jones, who thumped a finish high into the net from eleven yards out.
Portsmouth continued where they had left off after the interval with Rowbotham rifling narrowly over the crossbar after latching onto a lovely ball from Quirk but Fulham were enjoying opportunities on the counter. Sasha Adamson forced Hannah Haughton into a save and then fired fractionally wide, but the Whites conceded from Portsmouth’s next attack when Jones’ effort broke kindly for Lumsden to drill clinically into the corner.
Quirk made it five almost immediately after the restart having accelerated away from the Fulham defence and Lumsden grabbed her second of the afternoon from close range after substitute Mary Southgate had been stripped of possession in her own penalty area. Rowbotham then lobbed Parker from halfway after Pompey pinched the ball back and Fulham gifted Lumsden a third when Parker presented her with possession in attempt to play her way out of trouble.
The Whites offered more of an attacking threat when substitutes Ede Buchele and Alex Hayman began to link up down the left flank. With twenty minutes left, Mendes threaded a set-piece between Haughton and her near post to give the hosts something to show for their commendable commitment to attack. Portsmouth’s potency in the final third always threatened further goals and a ninth arrived when Fulham were picked off from their own corner as Humphrey sprinted half the length of the pitch to complete the scoring with a powerful finish.
Fulham continued to commit numbers forward in the closing stages and could easily have had the final word themselves. Buchele, who had been blatantly taken out in the box moments earlier, shot wide after Hayman unselfishly opted to tee up the striker rather than go for goal herself. Both sides will be seeking promotion when the league campaigns resume next month, with Fulham head coach Jaye acknowledging afterwards that there was plenty reflect upon after their Cup campaign came to an end against the clinical National League side.
FULHAM FC WOMEN: Parker; Tagliavini (Southgate 56), Stormer, Dale; Parsonson, Mendes, Barron-Clark (Hayman 61), Lambird; Heasman, Adamson (Buchele 59), Panting. Subs (not used): Stratton, Bird, Lewis, Huntrods.
GOAL: Mendes (70).
PORTSMOUTH FC WOMEN (4-3-3): Haughton; Gane, Younger, Casley (Barrett 66), Wild; Freeland, Rowbotham (Walker 88), Hall; Lumsden (Humphrey 68), Jones, Quirk. Subs (not used): Bowers, Collins, Lane, Pitman.
GOALS: Quirk (10, 56), Jones (25, 44), Lumsden (55, 58, 65), Rowbotham (61), Humphrey (78).