The FA Women's Premier League Cup
"Fate is on our side"
Pompey boss Vanessa Raynbird looks ahead to PL Cup Semi-Final.
Barnet Ladies v Portsmouth Ladies
The FA Women’s Premier League Cup
2pm, Sunday 13 February 2011
Honeycroft, Uxbridge FC
Portsmouth Ladies manager Vanessa Raynbird has never believed in fate - but her side's current run in The FA Women's Premier League Cup has made her think again.
Southern Division Pompey are one win away from a place in The Final of the competition, but must first overcome Premier League side Barnet in the Semi-Final.
But, having squeezed out the League leaders, and pre-tournament favourites, Sunderland 2-1 in the last eight, Raynbird is beginning to think it could be her club's year.
"After beating a team top of the Premier League you do feel as if you can beat anybody," said the manager.
"Nobody would've ever expected us to beat Sunderland to be perfectly honest. But I must say we were confident in the dressing room before the game - we had a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
"Our work-rate was phenomenal on the day but it could have gone either way. It was exciting if you were an innocent bystander - not so much if you were the manager.
"We have really battled hard to get where we have. We needed a draw at Yeovil in the early stage of the competition and we equalised in the 89th minute. Then we faced Aston Villa in the knock-out stages and went 3-0 down but turned it around and won 4-3.
"There have been events throughout the competition which have made me think perhaps fate is on our side. We don't always believe in that sort of thing but we've definitely done it the hard way - maybe it could be our year."
Having beaten Sunderland, and spent the entire season challenging at the top of their division, Portsmouth might even be considered favourites for the clash against the Premier League's bottom side Barnet.
However, Raynbird insisted: "We're not the favourites, anyone from a higher division is always the favourite. But we played them last season and drew one then lost narrowly in the other.
"Promotion to the Premier League is our main aim, and still is, but getting something out of the League Cup would be phenomenal."
The second Semi-Final sees Nottingham Forest take on Leicester City at Carlton Town FC (also on Sunday, 2pm kick-off).