Southampton Women’s lost the Hampshire Cup final 6-3 to Portsmouth Ladies, despite a resilient effort.
It was the 13th time the Pompey side have won the competition – and the ninth in succession – but this one of their toughest tests.
It was all equal at half time after the visitors’ striker Jane Yeates put them in front on 15 minutes, followed by two goals in quick succession from Pompey and an own goal.
Reds captain Kirsty Bell was content with her side’s work ethic.
“There’s absolutely no disgrace to lose to a team two leagues above after the performance we put in!
“Everyone worked so hard for each other and couldn’t have asked for anymore.”
Portsmouth went in front again on 68 minutes but Southampton instantly replied through Meg Vella’s strike.
The hosts scored another two goals in the remainder of the game, hitting a tired defence on the break just before the final whistle.
“Our focus now goes straight back to the league. We are looking forward to putting in the same work rate and performance to hopefully be successful,” added Bell.
Manager Simon Parker was proud of his team after their performance.
“There are so many positives for us to take from the game. We more than matched a team that plays two divisions higher than us.
“Obviously the result is disappointing but I am very happy and proud of the girls!”
Southampton are next in action in the league against Newbury on Sunday (19th March).