2016/2017 has been quite the year for the University of Portsmouth Women’s Football Club 1sts. This season, the girls have been captained by Jessica Burke, currently a second year student at the university studying Sport and Exercise science. Burke also plays for Portsmouth Ladies, along with Bethany Roche, Jade Simmons and Samantha Quayle. Quayle has been selected for the English Universities National Squad, in which she will play against her home country, Wales. This season has been phenomenal for Pompey, with only one league loss, one draw, and seven wins. The South East League 1A is just one below the Premier Division for the South of England, and the league the ladies have played in this season. Today’s game will be the title decider between Pompey and Brighton, with the hope of promotion to the Premier South if they win the playoffs with Gloucestershire 1sts. However, it is unclear on how the playoffs will happen, and Gloucestershire may not be the team to fight for promotion. Playing on home ground, at Langstone, UPWFC will be supported by the 2nd team, other members of the Athletic Union, friends and family of the players, and other students.
The starting line up for UPWFC:
Jade Nicholson Jess Burke (C) Megan Kennedy Paige Atkinson Jade Simmons Jess Saunders Beth Roche Georgia Campbell-Turner Sophie Frost Alice Broadley Annie-Rose Dunn
Samantha Quayle Anniken Haugen Crystal Carrington Gemma Freaney Emma Shaw
KICK OFF 15:13
5: Brighton dominating the first 5 minutes, but Atkinson is showing real strength in defence to not let them through.
9: Pompey have an excellent passing regime, which lead to Frost having a near goal, unfortunately offside.
15: Brighton take the lead with a long distance shot which lobbed goalkeeper Nicholson. UPWFC 0 – 1 Brighton.
19: The girls, with grit and determination, try to bring the score line even again. Campbell-Turner taking a free kick, which gets headed out the box to Roche who hits it just over the crossbar.
22: Again, another near goal for UPWFC as Frost takes advantage from a deflection.
30: Both teams had plenty of opportunities to score but did not quite finish. Brighton are looking more hungry than ever for a goal. Pompey manage to fight as a unit and stop any chances.
37: Brighton win a free kick in Pompey’s half, misses by quite a distance.
47: Dunn takes on 3 Brighton defenders but is taken down by a strong, but fair, tackle.
50: Brighton take advantage of Pompey only having 10 on the field as Frost has to leave the field due to injury. Fortunately, Saunders was there to prevent Brighton from pressing down the wing.
61: Broadley comes off for Quayle.
61: GOAL!!!! Roche gets even with Brighton and scores a goal from a deflection. The home crowd are going crazy, with personal football chants to Portsmouth, and very well known chants to all. 1-1.
62: Pompey start to get ahead of themselves and give away a free kick, in which Brighton score from to give them a 1-2 lead.
64: The goal is an eye-opener for the girls. Quayle shows some excellent footwork, and takes on two players but is fowled just outside the box. The free kick looks hopeful but goes just over the crossbar.
67: GOAL!!! Dunn scores a goal after 4 previous deflections. One off the cross bar, One defended and two brilliant saves by the keeper. Dunn’s goal was unstoppable. 2-2.
70: The past few minutes have consisted of a few UPWFC injuries, with Campbell-Turner, Kennedy and Atkinson all being injured. Still, the girls soldier on.
75: These injuries do not look good, but this did not stop Pompey from putting in everything they had.
76: GOAL!!! Quayle scores a remarkable goal, taking on Brighton’s winger, and defence, to slipping it just past the keeper. 3-2.
78: The crowd gives Campbell-Turner an ovation as she makes way for Haugen.
80: An immediate difference made by Haugen, who passes the ball to Roche. Roche takes control and passes it to Frost who almost gets Pompey another goal.
81: Quayle walks through the Brighton midfield and defence, to have a 1v1 with the keeper who makes an extraordinary save.
81: GOAL!!! Frost’s reactions were incredibly speedy from the keepers deflection of Quayle’s shot and scores a brilliant goal. 4-2.
83: Burke goes does with a serious injury on her ankle and has to come off the field for a few minutes to talk to the physio. Less than a minute coming off, she goes back on.
85: Dunn, who had a spectacular performance, makes way for Carrington who gets a round of applause from the crowd.
86: Quayle almost makes it 5-2, but the last defender just stops her.
88: Penalty to Brighton. Nicholson gets a touch to the ball but unfortunately it goes into the back of the net. 4-3.
90: THE WHISTLE IS BLOWN AND UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH WOMEN’S FOOTBALL CLUB ARE SOUTH EAST 1A LEAGUE CHAMPIONS.
The referees woman of the match goes to centre back Paige Atkinson. A massive congratulations to the girls who have grafted so hard all season for this. The next stage now will be the playoffs, in which the girls will battle till the very end to gain promotion to the Premier South Division. A huge thank you to the girls who came to watch, friends and family who travelled to Portsmouth to see this, and other Athletic Union Students who came to support the ladies. Next stop, VARSITY.