Portsmouth edge closer to title after win at Gillingham

Sunday 26 Apr 2015
There were victories for Portsmouth, Charlton and Cardiff on Sunday

Ini Umotong netted a hat-trick to lead Portsmouth to victory at Gillingham and move them one step closer to The FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division title. 

Lauren Phillips had given the home side the lead just on the half-hour mark with a stunning long range effort, sending a dipping strike just under the crossbar. 

It took Portsmouth until 11 minutes after the break to draw level, Umotong – only on as a substitute a few minutes earlier – fired in from close range after Gillingham failed to clear a cross. 

Pompey soon took the lead as Umotong netted again, Gemma Hillier playing a fantastic through ball for the super-sub to sneak in and score. 

The Nigerian international’s hat-trick arrived on 77 minutes, when she met Molly Clark’s accurate cross to power home a header. And Hillier added a fourth in injury time, ghosting in to meet Umotong’s cross and put a fine gloss on the score line. 

Brighton & Hove Albion began the day just one point behind the leaders but lost ground following a 2-2 draw at West Ham. 

Amy Taylor salvaged a point for the Seagulls with her leveller on the hour mark but the visitors could not find a winner to keep pace with Pompey. 

Vicky Kingsman put West Ham ahead after 22 minutes when she sent a curling volley over the head of Brighton goalkeeper Faye Baker. 

Kirsty Barton capitalised on a hectic moment in the Hammers area to draw the away side level, lashing home after Fliss Gibbons’ cross was not cleared. 

West Ham regained the lead just five minutes after the break when the visitors gifted possession on the edge of their own box and Emma Sherwood curled into the top corner. 

However, Taylor was able to prod home from inside the area – despite offside appeals from the West Ham defence – to earn Brighton a draw. 

Charlton ran riot against Copsewood to keep their slim title hopes alive, completing a 7-0 win against their struggling visitors. Gemma Shepherd led the way with a hat-trick for the hosts, while there was also a double for Kit Graham in a dominant display. 

Amy Howlett also netted in the first half, while Kim Dickson completed the scoring late on, as Charlton stayed five points back from leaders Portsmouth with just two games left to play. 

Elsewhere, Cardiff City saw their slim title hopes evaporate – courtesy of other results – but that did not stop them completing a confident victory over Queens Park Rangers. 

The Welsh side got off to a flying start as Hope Suominen put them ahead by turning in Laura Williams’ cross. 

Things quickly got worse for QPR as they were caught out by a long ball and Naomi Clipson capitalised, putting the visitors 2-0 up inside ten minutes. 

Kelly Bartlett’s late strike – helping Clipson’s cross past the QPR ‘keeper – completed the scoring but Cardiff are now nine points off top spot with two to play. 

The hosts however, are now mathematically safe from the drop after other results went their way.

Charlton Athletic WFC 7-0 Copsewood (Coventry) LFC
Gillingham LFC 1-4 Portsmouth FC Ladies
Queens Park Rangers LFC 0-3 Cardiff City LFC
West Ham United LFC 2-2 Brighton & Hove Albion WFC

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By FA Staff