Southampton FC Women can clinch the National League Southern Premier title on Wednesday night, hosting south coast rivals Portsmouth at St Mary’s Stadium.
Saints vs Pompey
National League Southern Premier
St Mary’s Stadium
Wednesday 20th April, 7.45pm BST
Saints’ phenomenal form in National League Southern Premier continued on Sunday, backing up Thursday’s 9-1 win at Keynsham with a 6-1 victory at home to Plymouth.
The scoring was opened just shy of the half-hour mark, Ciara Watling continuing her fruitful week in front of goal with another strike to set her side on their way.
Sophia Pharoah then doubled the tally, before Lucia Kendall added two of her own either side of the break.
Georgie Freeland and finally Laura Rafferty rounded off the scoring, on another successful afternoon for Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side.
Pompey have equally been on a strong run, losing just once in all competitions since the end of February.
Sunday was a particularly important win, beating a strong Bridgwater United side 2-0 away from home thanks to goals from Cherelle Khassel and Emma Jones.
Victory for Saints would confirm the Southern Premier league title and a place in the play-offs at the end of May, whilst Pompey could move to within two points of fifth place Crawley Wasps.
Saints and Pompey will face each other for the third and final time this season in late April, with a return to St Mary's marking the occasion.
It's the second outing in SO14 for Marieanne Spacey-Cale's side this season, having beaten Championship side Bristol City in the FA Cup back in late January.
Tickets will be available to purchase is in the Itchen Stand with entry one hour before kick-off and pricing as follows:
Be sure to get in your seats early, with Saints Brass and t-shirt cannons part of a whole bill of matchday entertainment ahead of the fixture itself.
Saints have won each of the last two meetings between the two rivals so far this campaign; a 2-1 extra-time win in the FA Cup before a late league win towards the back end of December.
That last clash came at none other than Fratton Park, where 1,450 fans packed out the ground to see Saints come away with three points.
After an intense, typically derby-like, fixture, the winner came with six minutes to go. Substitute Alisha Ware firing a low ball into the box, turned into her own net by Pompey skipper Dan Rowe.
It marked back-to-back derby victories for Spacey-Cale’s side, and wild celebrations at full-time.
“We’re just taking one game at a time,” said Spacey-Cale, “if you start thinking too far ahead you lose the plan and the building blocks we have in place.
“It’s an exciting time ahead of Wednesday at St Mary’s, but we’ve got to put the performance in and get the crowd behind us, get them signing and cheering.
“We’re playing a really strong side that we’ve faced a couple of times this season and have narrow victories against. We’re under no illusions that we’ll just turn up, play and win.
“It’ll be a real cat and mouse type game to start with, but we’ve just got to stay strong in our beliefs and get our players ready to perform on the day.”