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This Week's Opposition: Rugby Borough Women

Photo Credit: Rugby Borough Women

The carrot of the Championship is dangling ever closer for the Portsmouth Women, who are just mere weeks away from securing promotion after such a dominant season. Next up, they face Rugby Borough in their annual fixture at Fratton Park.

Jay Sadler’s side have won each of their last 14 league fixtures - A run stretching all the way back to their last and so far only league defeat of the campaign away at Hashtag United on the 10th of September.

A tough test awaits as the Blues switch PO9 for PO4, so let’s take a closer look now into a side who may be called Rugby, but most certainly play a better sport than their name suggests.

MANAGER

Rugby are managed by former Millwall Lionesses, Yeovil Town Women and London Bees boss Lee Burch, who has pedigree in coaching in the WSL and Women’s Championship.

Burch holds a large range of qualifications, including a UEFA A Coaching License, LMA Diploma in Football Management, a Goalkeeping UEFA B License and also a Level 2 badge in Futsal.

The former Southampton and Hampshire FA Youth coach has previously been awarded the LMA WSL2 Manager of the Year in 2018 and was named as the LMA Manager of the Month on 2 separate occasions in September 2019 and January 2020.

ONE TO WATCHRugby_Angelina_Nixon_Mar24

Centre-forward Angelina Nixon, who represents the squad number 7 for Rugby, is one to keep an eye on this weekend.

Nixon has registered 18 goal contributions so far this season, comprising 10 goals and 8 assists from 20 appearances.

The Cambridge-born attacker made her debut for the club last July having previously played for MK Dons, Birmingham City, Cambridge United and Norwich City.

Nixon is now 21 years old and has settled in really well with Rugby, who acknowledged her Goal of the Season Award during her time with Birmingham in the WSL and County Cup success at MK as enough to warrant bringing her to the club.

TOP SCORER

With 18 goals from 22 appearances this season, Rugby’s top scorer is Lily Greenslade.

The 19-year-old has started 21 of those 22 games and has also provided 2 assists so far this campaign.

She joined Rugby in the summer from Bristol City, who she made her senior debut for at the age of 17 having come through their academy ranks.

Greenslade was part of the Bristol City squad that won the Women’s Championship last season and has had experience in the National League during a loan spell with Plymouth Argyle.

Fun fact: Twin brother Harvey Greenslade is on the books for Bristol Rovers in League One having recently been promoted from the club’s academy.

For Rugby Borough, Lily Greenslade wears the number 9 shirt.

CURRENT FORM

Originally founded in 2013 as Coventry City Ladies, the club merged with non-league outfit Coventry United in 2015 but ended their affiliation after 8 years last summer, as a result of their relegation from the Championship.

A run of 6 wins from their last 7 league games recently has seen Rugby Borough hit the heights of 3rd place in the FA Women’s National League - Southern Premier Division.

Rugby are on 39 points following 13 wins and 5 defeats from their 18 league fixtures so far - 9 behind Pompey at the top with just 4 games remaining.

A win for the Blues at Fratton Park would confirm Rugby out of the running for promotion, ensuring that only 2nd place Hashtag United could mathematically catch the Blues this season.

In this season’s reverse fixture, Portsmouth were 1-0 victors away from home back on the 22nd of October.

Last time out on the 13th of March, Rugby secured a 5-1 home victory over MK Dons.

Can Jay Sadler’s side secure a 15th consecutive league victory and move 1 step closer to the Championship?

You can catch all of the unmissable action of this FA Women's National League - Southern Premier Division clash when Pompey Live returns this Sunday (March 24th) afternoon from 1pm.

Kick-off: 2pm!

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