Mixed day for Hillier in Ladies’ win

Gemma Hillier. Picture: Mick Young
Gemma Hillier. Picture: Mick Young

Pompey Ladies extended their unbeaten run to 10 games as they chalked up a convincing 3-0 victory in the dockyard derby at Plymouth Argyle.

Perry Northeast’s side continued their flying start to the new season and are off the top of the FA Women’s Premier League southern division table only on goal difference from Cardiff City, who currently lead the way.

But goals from Charley Wilson, Gemma Hillier and Ini Umotong ensured it was another welcome three points for the Blues in an impressive performance.

Northeast said: ‘It was the first overnight stay of the season because it’s a longer trip to Plymouth.

‘But it was a pleasing result, a good performance and a good victory.

‘We took three strikers, they all scored and we kept a clean sheet.

‘As a manager, you can’t fail to be happy with that really.’

Plymouth packed the midfield in an attempt to keep Pompey at bay.

But Lucy Quinn, Wilson, Hillier and Sarah Kempson all went close to finding the opener as they failed to make the most of decent chances in the first quarter of the contest.

The Blues finally broke the deadlock midway through the first half as the strikers linked up in clinical fashion with Wilson converting Hillier’s low cross.

Hillier made it 2-0 before half-time as she hooked home with an instinctive overhead attempt after Jody Goodall headed a corner back across goal.

Argyle almost found a way back into the contest early in the second period as a chance went agonisingly past Sadie Blakely’s post.

But Pompey Ladies kept their opponents at arm’s length and the result was never really in doubt.

Although Hillier was forced off with injury, substitute Umotong showed there is real strength in depth from the bench.

And she wrapped up the points six minutes from time as she produced a sharp turn and a smart finish after Jess Frampton’s cut-back picked out her team-mate in the box.

While Northeast was delighted with the performance, he admitted he is concerned for Hillier who is facing a race against time to be fit for this weekend’s home showdown with West Ham.

Northeast said: ‘The only disappointment of the game was that Gemma had to come off after a heavy knock – we just hope it won’t be for too long.

‘It was just a collision.

‘She’s a really honest girl and said it was a 50-50 and she came off worst.

‘It’s the whole of her right leg from ankle to hip, so we’re not quite sure how bad it is yet.

‘She is massively influential and she is playing better football than at any time I’ve been at the club.’