Portsmouth Womens 1st team played their final friendly match before the League commences next week against Trojans in hot and energy sapping conditions on the slow and heavily sanded pitch at Admiral Lord Nelson School. Bedding in several new players the home side started strongly and should have taken an early lead when newcomer, Sofia Gomez, failed to put away a far post cross from only a metre out. Portsmouth continued to have the better of the game with hard work from the central midfield pairing of Jenny Turvey Warnes and Zoe Wimshurst. It came as something of surprise when they fell behind following an uncharacteristic error by Joni Duffus in what was an otherwise faultless performance at the heart of the defence.
With confidence lowered at this point it let Trojans into the game with the rest of the first half degenerating into a scrappy midfield battle that neither side were able to dominate.
After the break the game followed much the same pattern with Portsmouth generally having the better of the play with the Trojans keeper outstanding with sharp saves at short corners from Nadz Moore and Katie Spooner. Portsmouth should have drawn level when Gomez broke through to take the keeper on in a 1v1 only to round the keeper to find that her effort was saved on the line by an in-rushing defender. Trojans then hit back to double their lead with a follow up conversion of the loose ball after keeper, Harriet Read, made a fine save.
On the whole an interesting test with many players being tried in different positions and with others coming into the side for their first competitive match. As to be expected, periods of flowing hockey mixed in with spells that were disjointed but overall a useful workout.