Dalton’s dream teams: Simply the best

Part two of Sent Her Forward’s look back at the players who have most impressed and made me smile in best part of six years of reporting on women’s football

Deanna Cooper and Jo Wilson compete for the ball during the match between Brighton and QPR, Sep 6 2015 (Photo: Kevin Richards)

Deanna Cooper (centre) and Jay Blackie (right), two of the finest footballers I’ve seen, make both my first XIs (Photo: Kevin Richards)

I must have seen at least a dozen of those who took part in this summer’s Women’s World Cup in live club games.

Yet my selections for my Best Ever Team represent a footballing universe far broader than the game’s top global competition – or even just the Women’s Super League. Continue reading

Dalton’s dream teams: A few of my favourite things

A walk down Memory Lane as Sent Her Forward recalls some of the finest players I’ve had the privilege of watching

Wivelsfield Green's Leigh Farley gets in a tackle during their match against Bexhill United Reserves March 30 2014 Photo: Dave Burt

Leigh Farley scored the first goal I ever saw live in women’s football – but she did far more than that (Photo: Dave Burt)

It’s almost seven years since I began watching women’s football – and nearly six since I started reporting on it on Sent Her Forward.

Time for a list or two, I think. Continue reading

Gritty Chichester dent revitalised Lewes’s home record

Action from Lewes v Chichester City, Oct 8 2017 (Photo: John Holden)

Charley Wilson-Blakely scored twice but was later forced off with injury (Photo: John Holden)

Lewes 2 (Rutherford 40; Lane 44)
Chichester City 2 (Wilson-Blakely 27, 31)

Chichester City claimed a minor victory after becoming only the second side to take a point off Lewes at their Dripping Pan fortress this season, but it must have felt like a defeat after losing their key player, talisman and top scorer Charley Wilson-Blakely to an injury that looks bound to sideline her for some weeks. Continue reading

Lethal Lewes corner queen causes Basildon to buckle

Sian Heather scores Lewes's second goal against C&K Basildon, March 26 2017

C&K Basildon suffered a difficult first half, during which Sian Heather put Lewes 2-0 up, before putting up a brighter performance after the break (Photo: James Boyes)

Lewes 3 (Bridges 3, 84; Heather 42)
C&K Basildon 0

Lewes ground out a thoroughly satisfying, if unspectacular, victory over mid-table rivals C&K Basildon to keep alive their hopes of a top-half finish in the Premier League. Continue reading

Lewes win tactical battle as Cardiff’s winning run comes to an end in the FA Cup

Rebecca Carter in action for Lewes v Cardiff City, Jan 8 2017 (Photo: James Boyes)

Lewes top scorer Rebecca Carter put her side on the way to an impressive FA Cup win over Cardiff City (Photo: James Boyes)

Lewes 2 (R Carter 17; Rutherford 35)
Cardiff City 0

Lewes proved to be Cardiff City’s bogey team once again as the Premier League club ended the high-flying Welsh side’s 13-match winning run and dumped them out of the FA Cup.

John Donoghue’s team denied Cardiff victory for the second time this season, having drawn with them at the start of the campaign, and once again, this was no fluke as they progressed to the third round. Continue reading

Ambitious Chichester City pull off another coup as Wilson joins Green revolution

Sent Her Forward exclusive

Action from Portsmouth v West Ham United, 2014/15 (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

Wilson scored 16 goals for Portsmouth in her last full Premier League season in 2014/15 (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

Chichester City have made another stunning capture, adding former Portsmouth striker Charley Wilson-Blakely to a team already bulging with Premier League talent.

The ambitious Premier League South West Division One leaders have transformed their squad – which finished second last season – signing a host of players with Premier League top-flight experience. Continue reading

Pumped-up Pompey seek another Super League scalp

Focus on the weekend’s big FAW Cup fourth-round tie: Portsmouth v Millwall Lionesses

Leeta Rutherford, of Portsmouth, and Naomi Cole, of Millwall (Photos: Jordan Hampton/Millwall LFC)

Former team-mates Leeta Rutherford and Naomi Cole will be in direct opposition (Photos: Jordan Hampton/Millwall LFC)

Super League opposition again stand between Portsmouth and the further reaches of the FAW Cup – and Perry Northeast and co have found nothing to suggest they cannot enjoy another enthralling cup adventure. Continue reading

Family fan helps earn Portsmouth’s Umotong international recognition

Ini Umotong celebrates a goal against Gillingham (Photo: Julian hart)

Ini Umotong has been called up by Nigeria at the age of 20 after a prolific five months with Portsmouth (Photo: Julian Hart)

Ini Umotong has plenty of people to thank for her call-up to Nigeria’s national squad, which opens the door to a possible appearance at the World Cup in Canada later this year. Continue reading

Pompey’s ‘pack of wolves’ hungry for cup clash with Lionesses

Leeta Rutherford in action for Portsmouth before her switch to Millwall and back again (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

The prospect of an FAW Cup tie against her former club is a thrilling one for Leeta Rutherford (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

Portsmouth’s reward for an amazing 5-4 FAW Cup victory over Blackburn Rovers is a home tie – and the prospect of another memorable encounter with a Super League club in the fourth round.

Pompey beat WSL2 side Durham at the same stage of last season’s competition before bowing out to Notts County – then leaders of WSL1 – in the quarter-finals.

And this season’s draw has pitted them against Millwall, providing the London club can overcome Lowestoft Town in their rearranged third-round tie. Continue reading

Community shares Portsmouth’s celebrations

Charley Wilson receives her fans' player of the year award from Millie Underwood (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

Fans’ player of the year Charley Wilson received her award from superfan Millie Underwood (Photo: Jordan Hampton)

It’s always nice to hold your club presentation evening in somewhere called the Victory Lounge.

And while the Victory in mind might have more to do with one of the finest competitors ever to come out of Portsmouth, the flagship that featured in Lord Nelson’s most celebrated triumph is a fine metaphor for the teamwork and spirit that now pervades that city’s football club. Continue reading