‘Sports Mail’ Report No 8.
By David Brawn
Published on Sat, Apr 21st, 2012
Hawks must regroup with strong league finish after cup final loss
Hawks have been tasked with putting cup final disappointment to one side and ending the season with a flourish.
Defeat to Pompey in the county cup on Tuesday was a blow. Now, with two matches remaining in the South West Combination, a second-place finish is up for grabs.
Yeovil have already wrapped up the title but the Hawks go there tomorrow (the 22nd) aiming for a big win. They then travel to Chesham, who are also contending for second place.
‘We are not guaranteed to finish second,’ said director of football, Trevor Brock. ‘If Forest Green beat the University of Portsmouth tomorrow (22nd), we will need to win both of our final two games. The first is at Yeovil and they will be celebrating, having won the title.
‘We then travel to Chesham who have come from nowhere – if we lose that one, we could end up fourth. Considering we were unbeaten in all competitions until February and didn’t lose in the league until March, finishing fourth would be a disaster.’
Hawks were beaten 2-1 by rivals Pompey in midweek. Striker Vinny Nkomo cancelled out Leeta Rutherford’s goal early in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to spark an upset.
And while Brock was annoyed with the first half, he was pleased the Westleigh Park outfit battled back in the second period to play better.
‘We tend to give Portsmouth too much respect,’ said Brock. ‘In the first half we weren’t at the races but we improved after the break. Portsmouth had most of the play and put us under pressure.’
Brock was left aggrieved by the winning goal from Lucy Quinn. ‘It was a dreadful decision for their winner,’ he said.
‘Lucy Quinn hit a low shot towards goal. Gemma Hillier was clearly in an offside position and she tried to play the ball. The ball went straight into the net but she must have been interfering with play, having tried to strike the ball.’
Keeper Sally-Anne Thompson was widely regarded as the star player on the day, despite teammate Lauren Cheshire getting the official player-of-the-match award. Brock said: ‘Sally-Anne kept us in the game. She played really well.’
By kind permission of “The News.”
Congratulations go out to Pompey Ladies, for they won the Premier League Southern Division title to gain promotion to the National Division for the first time in their history.