Highlights of the first day of the Premier League and L&SEWFL seasons
FAW Premier League Southern
Portsmouth 3-7 Cardiff City
Portsmouth’s first game at their new home turned into a day to forget as they were thrashed by Cardiff City.
Captain Gemma Hillier’s hat-trick was overshadowed by the sending-off of Lucy Quinn with Pompey 2-1 up – a decision that changed the course of the game.
With the team – already without several first-team players through long-term injuries – also suffering more injuries, they ended a miserable match at their new Cams Alders ground with just nine players.
Hillier turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead before Quinn was shown a red card for hand-ball in the area. To rub salt into the wound, Cardiff equalised from the ensuing penalty and were back in front by half-time.
After the break, the visitors took full advantage of their extra player, racing into a 7-2 lead, courtesy of five-goal Cori Williams and Lauren Townsend, who scored the other two.
Pompey had used up all their substitutions when Rachel Rigby went off injured, leaving them to see out the game with just nine players. But Hillier epitomised the spirit at the club, grabbing her third late in the game.
— Charley Wilson (@charstar1043) August 24, 2014
Lewes 2-0 Plymouth Argyle
Lewes got their home campaign under way with a comfortable victory over Premier League newcomers Plymouth Argyle.
Katie McIntyre and Sian Heather struck before half-time as the Sussex side continued their fine form from the end of last season, with Hayley West’s performance earning her the most valuable player award.
Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Gillingham
Gillingham fell to defeat at Spurs in Simon Ratcliffe’s first competitive match since being appointed manager just over two weeks ago.
Now without the majority of players who took the club to second in last season’s competition, the Gills were soundly beaten despite a valiant first-half performance, in which former Aylesford striker Rebecca Stroud and Centre of Excellence graduate Georgia Pilbeam made substitute appearances.
Lucia Padilla scored twice for the Londoners and Bianca Baptiste grabbed the other.
— Simon Ratcliffe (@Ratcliffe_S) August 24, 2014
|Brighton & Hove Albion 3 (Gibbons 2 Gurr) Copsewood Coventry 1 (Rowles)|
|Keynsham Town 1 (Lorton-Radburn) Charlton Athletic 12 (Graham 4 Pittuck 3 Shepherd 3 Howlett Harrison)|
|Lewes 2 (McIntyre Heather) Plymouth Argyle 0|
|Portsmouth 3 (Hillier 3) Cardiff City 7 (Williams 5 Townsend 2)|
|Queens Park Rangers 1 (Petit) West Ham United 2 (Morgan Blanchflower)|
|Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Padilla 2 Baptiste) Gillingham 0|
FAW Premier League Division One South West
Cheltenham Town 1-4 Chichester City
Chichester City started their season on a high with an away win at newcomers Cheltenham Town.
The Gloucestershire side held City until half-time, but a Lauren Cheshire penalty, followed by a goal directly from Lucie Challen‘s corner, gave Chichester the advantage in the second half.
Player of the match Becky Baron hit an impressive third before Catherine Reilly pulled one back, but the visitors restored their three-goal advantage through Emma Alexandre, from Cheshire’s corner.
Forest Green Rovers 6-2 Gosport Borough
Gosport Borough had a tough introduction to life in the FA Premier League, crashing 6-2 at Forest Green Rovers.
Borough’s first Premier League goals came from Jess Lewry and Kayleigh Merrett.
They held their experienced opponents to 1-0 until the 40th minute, but six goals in just over half an hour destroyed their hopes of getting any points from the match.
Manager Dave Pickering said despite the defeat – against a side who finished fourth last season – there were many positives and lessons to be learned from the game.
|Cheltenham Town 1 (Reilly) Chichester City 4 (Cheshire Challen Baron Alexandre)|
|Forest Green Rovers 6 (Okey 3 Bidder Marshal Kent) Gosport Borough 2 (Lewry Merrett)|
|Shanklin 2 Exeter City 1|
|Swindon Town 5 St Nicholas 1|
London & SE Regional Women’s League
The South East’s newest members of the LSERWL suffered big defeats in two goalfests that featured 17 goals.
Aylesford crashed 7-4 at home to Fulham Foundation, while Bexhill United, who accompanied them up from the South East Counties Women’s League, were soundly beaten 6-0 by Carshalton Athletic, who were also newly promoted to the league.
There were disappointing results, too, for the region’s other clubs in the division – Crawley Wasps suffering a 2-1 home defeat by Maidstone United, Hassocks losing 5-2 at home to Old Actonians, and Eastbourne Town losing 4-2 at London Corinthians.
Crawley, who enjoyed their best ever season last time round, were without a recognised striker for the clash with the team who finished just below them last season.
Missing three of last season’s regular line-up, they came under heavy pressure for much of the game, and were indebted to their goalkeeper, Catherine Poleykett, who was voted player of the match, for keeping the score down.
Wasps’ goal came from Holly Walker.
|Aylesford 4 Fulham Foundation 7 (Fraser 3 Ogle Snow Armstrong Clisby)|
|Carshalton Athletic 6 (Curtis 3 Bale Hall Laidlaw-Anderson) Bexhill United 0|
|Crawley Wasps 1 (Walker) Maidstone United 2 (Phillips Beeput)|
|Hassocks 2 Old Actonians 5|
|KIKK 3 AFC Wimbledon 2|
|London Corinthians 4-2 Eastbourne Town 2|