Ladies: Portsmouth Preview
Watford FC Ladies will be aiming to make it four straight wins as they travel to Portsmouth FC Women in the FA WNL on Sunday.
The Golden Girls currently lie in third place and have excelled in tight games recently, winning the three previous fixtures by a 2-1 scoreline.
Portsmouth have been on the wrong end of that same score lately, losing to the current top two in Coventry United and Chichester City.
VIEWS FROM THE HEAD COACH
With the Golden Girls having scored in the final 15 minutes of every game so far and winning three tight matches on the bounce, Armand Kavaja is understandably happy with what he’s seeing from his side.
“The girls are showing great character to keep fighting and are never giving up, even if they are losing, or have just been pegged back in the game,” he told watfordfc.com. “This is a good thing to have as it shows we never give up and we always believe we can win the game.
“We’ve made it clear to the players that the game is very long and they need to fight to the end – whether that is to prevent a goal or to score one.
“The players are building up this great work ethic and desire to defend. Hopefully we can put some of the games to bed a little earlier.”
Sunday marks the end of a period which has seen the Hornets play three games in eight days, with two victories so far.
“We’re all really pleased with the results, performances and condition of the players,” explained Kavaja. “We have tried to rotate and bring fresh legs in to the team and also give one or two players a little rest.”
Portsmouth have won two and lost two so far in the league, but the Head Coach isn’t paying attention to previous form.
“Every game will be tough for us,” said Kavaja. “We just have to play what's in front of us and not what the results show and how they have got on in other games.
“Portsmouth are an established team in this league and no doubt will make it hard for any team.”
Portsmouth are one of the mainstays at this level, as they compete in the third tier for the seventh consecutive season.
They previously won the Southern Division in 2014/15, however they lost out in the play-off to the Northern Division champions, Sheffield FC.
In the following campaigns they finished 5th and 8th, while they ended up in 6th place last season with 37 points from 22 games.
This time around they got off to a great start, winning their opening two league fixtures against C&K Basildon and Gillingham.
They’ve since lost their last three, albeit against the current top two in the division. Coventry United beat them 2-1 in the league, while Chichester City were victorious in the league and the cup.
One Watford player who will be familiar with this weekend’s hosts is Lauren Peck. The defender made over 35 appearances for Pompey.
LAST TIME OUT
Watford 2-1 QPR
Team: Baranowska, Hallsworth, O’Halloran, Hill, Huggins, Scanlon, Akerman (Stojko-Down, 53), Bell, Ward, Afuakwah (Carid, 46), O’Leary (Baker, 72).
Goals: Afuakwah (1), Ward (83).
Chichester City 2-1 Portsmouth
Team: Levett, Tonks, Southgate, Russell, Currie (Albuery, 62), Bradley, Rowe (Perkins, 78), Panting, James (Carter, 77), Geer, McLachlan.
Goals: McLachlan (59).
Portsmouth FC Women v Watford FC
Sunday 16th September
Baffins Milton Rovers FC
£5 Adults, £2 Concessions (U18/63+)