Preview: South Coast Derby between Southampton vs Portsmouth

Portsmouth and Southampton have one most tribalistic rivalries in the men’s game. This weekend sees the two side meeting again in the Hampshire FA County Cup.

Earlier in the year, Southampton sought to enter the FA Women’s Championship although weren’t granted a licence. Under the guidance of former England international, Marieanne Spacey-Cale the side are working their way up through the leagues and currently sit top of the Southern Region Women’s Premier League. Southampton share top spot with Oxford City but are ahead on a much superior goal difference. The pair meet for the first time in the season next month.

Their rivals and hosts have had a mixed season after a summer of change. After losing players of the calibre of Sammy Quayle, Charley Boswell, Molly Clark, Lauren PeckGemma Hillier, Nadine Bazan and Tash Stephens this season was always going to be a transition for the blues. After a difficult season so far, Jay Sadler‘s side have started 2019 well, with two wins and two clean sheets over QPR and C&K Basildon.

This is an important competition for Portsmouth, they will want to defend the trophy that they won last year. Jay will be making sure that his side is ready to withstand the intense early pressure that Southampton are likely to bring. If the blues can use their experience, keep their head and be ruthless in front of goal then they should be able to avoid an upset. On paper, this should be a straight forward win for Portsmouth but I am not expecting this to be straight forward at all! Southampton will be high in confidence and firmly believe that they can come away with a win.

Southampton know that they can score goals against Portsmouth, they have had fifteen different players finding the net so far this season, with four hitting double figures. The main danger for Amelia Southgate and co will be Chloe Newton, Georgie Freeland and Ellie Chaffe, the trio have scored fourteen goals so far this season. A win against their rivals will be a huge signal of intent for the young side.

For Southampton player, Shannon Sievwright, this will be a big game for her as she’s previously spent seven years as a Portsmouth player. It could also be an interesting morning for the Collighan household, the siblings of Alex and Caitlin are both hoping to be in the starting line-ups for Portsmouth and Southampton respectively.

If you want to be there to watch the game then both teams would appreciate the support. Gates at the PMC Stadium open at 12.30pm ahead of the 1.45pm kick-off and the ground can be found just off the Eastern Road in Portsmouth. Tickets for the game are priced £5 for adults, with free entry for accompanied juniors (U18). Tickets are £2 for concessions (63+/unaccompanied U18). They can be online or on the gate.

Stuart Barker
hellosince71@gmail.com